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Mich. House lawmakers adjourn hearing without voting on anti-LGBT bias bill

Mich. House lawmakers adjourn hearing without voting on anti-LGBT bias bill

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan lawmakers have adjourned a historic legislative hearing without voting on a measure that would update the state’s anti-discrimination law to include protections for LGBT citizens.

Michigan state capitol in Lansing.
Michigan state capitol in Lansing.

LGBT rights advocates were seeking to amend Michigan’s civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.

House Republican leadership said it supports including protections for gays but not transgender residents, saying they’re already protected because sex discrimination is illegal.

Democrats say a “fully inclusive” bill for the entire LGBT community is needed.

Advocates say Wednesday’s hearing was the first ever on the legislation after years of lobbying. A coalition of business leaders and others is urging Speaker Jase Bolger to still call a vote in the full House since the legislation is stalled in committee.

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“LGBTQ Michiganders have waited decades for equality under the law and for the same protections as other communities targeted for discrimination,” said Emily Dievendorf, Executive Director of Equality Michigan, a statewide advocacy group.

“An overwhelming majority of Michigan voters support an end to discrimination against their LGBTQ family members and friends in the workplace, in housing, and in public accommodations, and they are tired of waiting for basic fairness for all,” said Dievendorf, in a statement.

Equality Michigan notes that despite the lack of statewide protections, more than 30 cities across the state have enacted local protections for their LGBT communities.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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