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Michigan Civil Rights Commission will ignore AG opinion on LGBTQ issue

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission says it will continue to include LGBTQ people as a group protected under anti-discrimination law, no matter what Michigan’s Attorney General says.

In May, the civil rights commission decided to include LGBTQindividuals as members of a protected class under Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

But last week, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an opinion that state law does not protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination.

But the Commission’s director says it is not bound by the opinion of the Attorney General.   

“The Michigan Civil Rights commission is an independent, constitutionally created and established body,” said Agustin V. Arbulu, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

The commission says it will continue investigating complaints of housing and job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A Schuette spokeswoman says his opinion is binding on state agencies, in part because he's the attorney for all executive departments and agencies.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.