Ballot proposal would add LGBT protections to Michigan human rights act

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — LGBT rights advocates in Michigan have launched a ballot initiate to amend the state’s constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The group, Fair Michigan — led by Dana Nessel, the Michigan attorney who took Michigan’s same-sex marriage challenge to the Supreme Court — hopes to begin gathering petition signatures for the ballot proposal early next year, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Gov. Rick Snyder and many in the business community have previously called on lawmakers to add the LGBT community to the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in hiring and housing, but the issue never even made it out of a legislative committee.

“The fact is that the Michigan Legislature has ignored efforts to protect people, so it’s time we gave Michigan voters the power,” said Nessel.

The group still has to submit language to the Secretary of State and then collect 315,654 signatures of registered voters in the state to qualify for the 2016 ballot.

Nessel said she expects a broad coalition of supporters to help with the effort.

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