Lawmakers Reignite Push for Full LGBTQ Protections

The push for complete equal rights protection for Michigan’s LGBTQ community got a jumpstart Monday after years of failed progress and efforts.

“In the year 2021 nobody should be discriminated against based on who they love or how they identify,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer during a virtual press conference.

Monday, the state’s LGBTQ Caucus announced another attempt to expand the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, with a new pack of bills to fully cover the LGBTQ community.Lgbtq Bill Presser Pic

“There are gaps that still exist and these bills offer a bipartisan path for the legislature to address them immediately,” said Representative Laurie Pohutsky, sponsor of the House version of the bill.

“If you would not fire someone or evict someone or deny them services because they are LGBTQ, then this is your value statement too,” said Senator Jeremy Moss, the sponsor of the Senate version, “This requires nothing more of you.”

Both Sen. Moss and Rep. Pohutsky say they have the support from enough Republicans needed to pass but that support must be there when it counts.

“It’s not enough to say you’re an ally,” said Whitmer, “You have to prove it through your actions.”

The Elliott-Larsen fight has been reignited recently after former Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield was forced out of his new position due to blowback on his stance against this movement early in his term.

Moss says he saw a change in Chatfield and he feels similar change can spread through Republicans now.

“I will tell you he came along way from the 2014 candidate to where he was,” said Moss, “ “But ultimately, of course, the best time to have supported Elliott-Larsen was when he was in the legislature.”

These lawmakers are pushing it now to get done as soon as possible but if the legislature fails to act, the signatures are there for a ballot initiative in the future and the public will decide.

“There’s going to be a reckoning on this,” said Pohutsky, “It’s going to be taken up one way or the other. At this point it’s a ‘choose your own adventure’ with the legislature, to be quite honest.”