Gov. Whitmer, Michigan lawmakers introduce legislation to protect LGBTQ rights

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan lawmakers kicked off LGBTQ Pride Month on Tuesday by announcing legislation to amend Michigan’s civil rights law to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual identity.

Lawmakers and supportive groups say they are hopeful because, for the first, time, they have sponsors from each party in both chambers and a governor who strongly supports the change.

State Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, said Tuesday was “a historic morning for all of us,” and he’s more hopeful than ever the state law will be amended.

Efforts in recent years to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights act to protect sexual orientation and sexual identify have been stalled in the Republican-controlled Legislature by insistence from some lawmakers that such a change be tied to a law that sets out religious exemptions — such as a baker who doesn’t want to prepare a wedding cake for a gay couple, citing religious beliefs.

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