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MI Civil Rights Commission on “firm footing” to protect LGBTQ community, says advocate

Bill Schuette getting sworn in as attorney general.
Joe Ross

There's a tug-of-war happening between the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and Attorney General Bill Schuette. In the middle of it lies Michigan’s LGBTQ community.

In May, the commission decided to include LGBTQ individuals under the groups protected by the state's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

That prompted a response last week from the attorney general, and then a counter-punchMonday from the Civil Rights Commission.

Stephanie White, the executive director of Equality Michigan, joined Stateside to explain what’s been happening.

In May, Equality Michigan requested the Michigan Civil Rights Commission follow the lead of the federal courts. They wanted the state to include LGBTQ individuals under the sexual identity discrimination statutes dealing with discrimination on the basis of sex. The commission agreed.

Last Friday, Attorney General Bill Schuette took a different stance. He said protections against sex discrimination did not include gender identity or sexual orientation. 

Listen above to hear more about the disagreement between the attorney general and the commission, and why White believes that the commission "is on very firm footing” in their interpretation of the Elliot-Larsen Act.

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