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Discrimination against LGBT bad for Michigan economy

A new draft report finds allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians hurts Michigan’s economy. The state’s Civil Rights Commission is reviewing the report and might take action.

In Michigan it’s legal to discriminate against people who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender. Housing and job discrimination are a couple of the examples that are allowed by law.

“And our report shows that absolutely there is a very real economic impact to our failure as a state to provide anti-discrimination protection for the LGBT community,” said Leslee Fritz with the Department of Civil Rights.

For example, the report says often college graduates leave the state because they feel its lack of protections for gays and lesbians shows intolerance.

Emily Dievendorf is Policy Director with Equality Michigan,an advocacy organization for LGBT. She says it's good to see research and data by the Department of Civil Rights confirm claims made by activists.

“The Civil Rights Department found in their report what Equality Michigan has been saying for years: that discrimination is bad for business,” Dievendorf said.

Even if the Civil Rights Commission adopts the report's recommendations, it’s the legislature and the Governor who would need to change the Civil Rights Act.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.