LANSING — Fair and Equal Michigan today announced that it plans to move forward with a citizen-led ballot initiative to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to include discrimination protections for members of the LGBTQ community. State Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) and State Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) introduced House Bill 4688 and Senate Bill 351, respectively, in June 2019 to extend these protections legislatively.

In response to the announced ballot initiative, Rep. Hoadley issued the following statement:

“No Michigander should live in fear of being fired from their job, evicted from their home, or denied service at a restaurant for who they are or who they love. That’s why I’ve long fought to expand Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, and introduced legislation in this session to do just that. The Legislature has everything it needs to act immediately to prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination, except for the willingness of the majority party. We need to fix that in 2020.”

Both HB 4688 and SB 351 have received significant support with all House and Senate Democrats signing onto the respective bills as cosponsors. Sen. Moss issued the following statement:

“Most Michiganders support enacting workplace and housing protections for the LGBTQ community and will back every effort to implement these protections in law. In our role as elected state legislators, Rep. Hoadley and I introduced legislation last year to add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the existing protected classes in Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act – and the majority party has refused to even hold committee hearings on our bills. Today’s announcement of a prospective ballot proposal also serves to renew our call for the Legislature to move swiftly to pass the bills we sponsored because Michigan residents are fed up with legislative inaction.”