LANSING — State Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton) introduced two pieces of legislation today recognizing the LGBT community in the state of Michigan. House Resolution 133 would declare June 2017 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in the state of Michigan. House Bill 4800 would add discrimination or targeting on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of hate crimes in the state.

“It is a great honor to introduce a resolution recognizing the more than 300,000 residents of our state who belong to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” Rep. Sneller said. “This resolution works to honor their contributions to our state and nation, and acknowledges this country’s continued pursuit of equality and justice for all Americans and Michiganders.”

Currently, the state’s hate crime law only includes protections for victims targeted by race, color, religion, gender or national origin. Rep. Sneller’s HB 4800 would work to strengthen Michigan’s penal code to ensure that residents and their property are protected from malicious physical harm, or threats based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

“In 2015, the state police noted that the second most-reported hate crimes were based on sexual orientation and religion. There is no reason that in 2017, Michiganders should be targets of violence simply because of who they love, or how they identify themselves,” Rep. Sneller said. “The protections provided by this legislation are truly long overdue. I hope my colleagues will recognize the importance of protecting all our state’s residents, and will support these necessary pieces of legislation.”