The goal of the ACLU of Michigan’s LGBTQ+ Project works to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association. This means even-handed treatment by the government and law enforcement, protection from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and legal recognition for LGBTQ+ couples and their families.

2023-2024 Legislative Goals

  • Update Michigan's Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.
  • Repeal outdated and unconstitutional laws on the books that are discriminatory against the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Pass legislation that ensures transgender people get the health care they need while eliminating existing obstacles to changing the gender marker on identification documents and obtaining legal name changes.
  • Protect the rights and safety of transgender people in prison, jail, and detention facilities.


Blog: Pueblo v. Haas Victory (August 3)

ACLU Celebrates Three Michigan Supreme Court Decisions

By Dan Korobkin

"In Pueblo v. Haas, the court ruled that LGBTQ+ parents who were unconstitutionally denied the right to marry can seek custody and parenting time of children that they had with their partners. As a result, Carrie Pueblo – and other LGBTQ+ people like her – will, when relationships with their same-sex partners break down, be able to maintain a parental role with children they helped raise."


Op-ed: Traverse City Hair Salon (July 31)

ACLU Stands with the Community

By Blake K. Ringsmuth
A local hair salon owner publicly announced that she would not serve transgender people. Rather, they could seek “services at a local pet groomer.”
Her comparison of transgender people to animals shocks the conscience. This business owner has dehumanized members of our community – our daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters.

Blake K. Ringsmuth is the former chair of the Traverse City Human Rights Commission, a local civil rights lawyer and a member of the Northwest Michigan Lawyers Committee of the ACLU. He grew up in Traverse City and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1990.

Read on the Traverse City Record-Eagle

Press Release: Pueblo v. Haas (July 24)

ACLU Applauds Michigan Supreme Court Ruling that Protects Rights of LGBTQ+ Parents

DETROIT, Mich. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) applauds today’s Michigan Supreme Court ruling that establishes the right of unmarried LGBTQ+ people in same-sex relationships to retain involvement in their children’s lives following a breakup. 

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Press Release: Pride Month (June 1)

ACLU Uses Windows of Opportunity to Celebrate Pride Month

JUNE 1, 2023

DETROIT, Mich. – The ACLU of Michigan kicks off the start of Pride Month today by unveiling a colorful collection of pro-LGBTQ+ banners in the first-floor windows of its office on Woodward Avenue in midtown Detroit. It is an emphatic show of support for a community that’s often singled out for discrimination. 

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Blog: Combating Anti-Trans Surge (May 31)

How Trans People Can Counter the Surge in Political Attacks

By Vic Gipson
I understand how ignorance can lead to bigotry. Even though I’m a trans person, I fell into that trap myself when younger. What’s difficult to comprehend, though, are the people who continue clinging to their prejudices regarding the LGBTQ+ community instead of embracing empathy as they learn and grow.

Vic Gipson is working toward a degree in social work at the University of Michigan—Flint. He’s also a support specialist with the advocacy group Stand With Trans, as well as the co-facilitator of the My Trans Voice youth advisory group council at the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health.

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Press Release: LGBTQ+ Book Bans (May 19)

ACLU Sends Clear Message to Lapeer County Prosecutor: Don’t Threaten Librarian for Supporting LGBTQ+ Book

May 19, 2023

DETROIT, Mich. – The ACLU of Michigan today sent a letter to Lapeer County Prosecutor John D. Miller warning him that public statements he has made against Lapeer Librarian Amy Churchill for refusing to remove the award-winning book Gender Queer: A Memoir from the library collection have no legal basis, threaten First Amendment freedoms, and violate Mr. Miller’s ethical duties as a prosecutor. The letter was sent the day after the Lapeer District Library’s board of trustees unanimously voted to uphold Ms. Churchill’s decision.

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Blog: LGBTQ+ Equity and Michigan’s Courts (March 24)

Why the State Supreme Court Needs to Change its Rules Regarding Use of Personal Pronouns.

By Jay Kaplan
Writing on behalf of a coalition of organizations and allies that work to promote fairness and equality for the LGBTQ+ community, we recently sent a letter to the Michigan Supreme Court supporting a proposed rule change that would apply to the use of personal pronouns in all state courts. It may sound like arcane stuff to some, but it is a much-needed change that’s being considered at a critical time. 

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Op-ed: Victory Amidst Anti-Queer Attacks (March 21)

My euphoria over the passing of this historic legislation was quickly dampened the next day when I saw a posting on social media from the Oakland County Republican Party, which was encouraging people to attend a protest outside the Sidetrack Bookshop in downtown Royal Oak.

By Jay Kaplan
With Gov. Whitmer holding a signing ceremony in Lansing this week, members of Michigan’s LGBTQ+ community were given a major milestone to celebrate while also being emphatically shown that they remain a prime target for those hoping to score political points by fueling bigotry and sowing hate.

Read on Pride Source

Press Release: ELCRA Victory (March 8)

ACLU Celebrates Historic Victory as the State’s Civil Rights Law is Amended to Provide Explicit Protections for LGBTQ+ People

MARCH 8, 2023

DETROIT, Mich. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) celebrates the historic passage of legislation that amends the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to explicitly name sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as being protected from discrimination under the law. 

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Blog: The Year Ahead (January 19)

Protecting LGBTQ+ Rights and the Work Ahead

By Jay Kaplan
The decades-long effort to pass a law explicitly stating that ELCRA’s protections include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression could finally become a reality.
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Press Release: Legislative Priority (January 11)

ACLU Thanks Michigan Lawmakers for Introducing Bills Prioritizing LGBTQ+ and Abortion Rights on the First Day of Session

JANUARY 11, 2023

Michigan Legislature introduces a bill to amend Michigan’s civil rights law to provide explicit protections for LGBTQ+ people and a bill that will do away with a 92-year-old abortion ban law