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Michigan Gov. Snyder says he would veto a stand-alone Religious Freedom Restoration Act bill

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
Gov. Rick Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder says he would veto a Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act if the Legislature sends it to him.

The governor, who’s previously expressed skepticism about the legislation, went further than he ever has before, and told The Detroit Free Press he’s willing to reject the legislation if there are no accompanying protections for LGBT protections added to the state’s civil rights law.

“Given all the events that are happening in Indiana, I thought it would be good to clarify my position,” he told the Free Press. “I would veto RFRA legislation in Michigan if it is a standalone piece of legislation.”

A similar bill in Indiana caused a ruckus after it was signed by Governor Mike Pence, including threats of business boycotts and corporate travel bans. Pence relented and called for a new bill to “clarify” that Indiana’s RFRA would not be used to discriminate against LGBT people.

Governor Snyder’s office would not say if he would insist on including protections for transgender people in a civil rights law expansion. That issue stalled similar legislation at the end of last year.

The governor may be headed for a standoff with backers of a Michigan RFRA in the Legislature.

State Senator Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, says he’s ready to force the question by sending a bill to the governor’s desk.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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