This week will determine whether or not gay and transgender Michiganders are protected from discrimination.
On Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m., the House Commerce Committee will hear testimony on legislation to update the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect LGBT people—and soon after, they may vote to decide if this critical, inclusive legislation advances.
What happens this week is about so much more than a vote on a single piece of legislation. It’s about who we are as a state. And as a transgender Michigander, it’s about whether or not I’m protected under the law in the state I call home.
Until the laws of our state make it clear that Michigan is open for business, free from discrimination, our economy and businesses will suffer. And for LGBT people, every day without these protections is another day we must live in fear simply because of who we are.
Growing up in Michigan, I’ve always been taught to believe that if you work hard, you deserve the opportunity to make a living and provide for your family. Those are Michigan values—and now, it’s time for the laws of our state to reflect the values of our people.
What we can accomplish in the next few hours before Wednesday’s hearing may well determine whether LGBT people from Escanaba to Sturgis and everywhere in between can live without constant fear of discrimination.
As lawmakers hear testimony on a fully inclusive bill, they may also consider legislation that allows for discrimination against transgender Michiganders.
Together, we can make history—now let’s get the job done.
P.S. As lawmakers hear testimony on a fully inclusive bill, they may also consider legislation that allows for discrimination against transgender Michiganders. Click here to tell your legislators that discrimination is discrimination—and urge them to support a bill that ensures ALL LGBT Michiganders are protected under the law.
Guest blog from Allison VanKuiken, Freedom Michigan Field Director
This blog was originally published at Freedom Michigan.