In 2017, it is actually legal in Michigan to fire a hardworking employee, deny them an apartment, or refuse them service in a restaurant, based only on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Unlike eighteen other states, Michigan does not have a law that explicitly protects LGBTQIA people from discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations.

On July 24, the Lansing Association of Human Rights (LAHR) joined with 37 LGBTQIA organizations across Michigan to ask the Michigan Civil Rights Commission to clarify that the state’s prohibition on sex discrimination currently contained in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity. If accepted, it would clarify the ambiguity that exists surrounding the scope of sex discrimination currently prohibited by the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and bring Michigan law into alignment with the growing body of understanding from federal judges and legal scholars.

We are requesting that the Michigan Civil Rights Commission acknowledge that Michigan’s prohibition against sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and that it falls under their authority to address it.

All people should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state. We should all have the opportunity to earn a living and provide for our families. Nobody should live in fear of losing their job or home because of who they are or whom they love. Protecting people from discrimination is about treating others, including those who are LGBTQIA, as we want to be treated.