House Bill 6414 extends civil rights law to ban discrimination on military status

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 22, 2022 — State Rep. Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) introduced a bill Wednesday to prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of military or veteran status. House Bill 6414 amends the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to extend protections to veterans and service members in all types of real estate transactions, both rentals and home purchases.

“We all owe a special debt to those who serve in our armed forces,” Rogers said. “This bill will ensure that they are treated as they deserve when looking for a home, and that there is recourse if they encounter discrimination.”

Federal law provides specific rights and protections against foreclosure and eviction to active-duty service members under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. But service members are not protected from discrimination on the basis of their military status itself. Adding military status as a protected category in the ELCRA would give the Michigan Department of Civil Rights the authority to investigate housing discrimination on the basis of military status and to enforce service members’ and veterans’ rights. Service members and veterans would also have their own rights to sue for discrimination under the ELCRA if HB 6414 becomes law. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security, where Rogers is the Democratic vice chair.