House Dem Caucus: Elliott-Larsen Must Protect All LGBT People

Bill fails to protect transgender people, allows religious objections
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

LANSING – The Michigan House Democratic Caucus said today that it stands against any proposed change to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act that fails to protect all members of the LGBT community or allows for religious discrimination.

“When it comes to legal protections for marginalized and targeted groups of people, we cannot compromise,” House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) said. “No Michigander deserves to be denied employment or housing because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered, and the civil rights of all of them must be protected. We can’t support any bill that falls short of that. Justice demands that we stand up for the rights and equality of all people, not just some of them.”

It’s anticipated that a bill to be introduced by Rep. Frank Foster (R-Petoskey) would grant civil rights protection on the basis of sexual orientation, but not gender identity. However, in a recent survey, more than half of transgender people asked said they have suffered from workplace discrimination. It’s believed the bill would also allow people to claim a religious exemption that allows them to discriminate against members of the LGBT community.

“We must never allow faith to be an excuse for bigotry,” Greimel said. “One person’s civil rights can never be subject to another’s religious belief. We can’t accept a civil rights law that is so flawed and leaves so many people behind. We urge our Republican counterparts to work with us to create a real civil rights bill that will protect all LGBT Michiganders.”