Media Contact

Dana Chicklas, (734) 945-8857, 

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  

DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) applauds Michigan lawmakers supporting LGBTQ+ and abortion rights on the first day of the 2023 legislative session, indicating protecting and advancing civil rights is a priority.

The Michigan House of Representatives and Senate each introduced legislation to amend Michigan’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. This proposed amendment would make explicit the protections from discrimination that the Michigan Supreme Court ruled last year are required by ELCRA’s prohibition on discrimination based on sex. The Michigan Legislature also introduced legislation that would repeal the state’s 1931 abortion ban. Enforcement of the 1931 statute was enjoined by the Michigan Court of Claims last year, and the Reproductive Freedom for All amendment, which guarantees the right to abortion, was ratified into the Michigan Constitution last month; this bill takes the final step to repeal the archaic 1931 law. 
Jay Kaplan, ACLU of Michigan Nancy Katz & Margo Dichtelmiller LGBTQ+ Rights Project Staff Attorney, released this statement on the introduction of legislation to amend ELCRA: 
“Thank you to Michigan lawmakers who recognize it is time that Michigan civil rights law explicitly protect all people in Michigan from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. This amendment to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act would cement equality into the law for LGBTQ+ people in Michigan, including in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, public services, and other aspects of daily life. Everyone has the right to live their authentic lives safely and freely in Michigan and beyond.” 
Merissa Kovach, ACLU of Michigan Legislative Director, released this statement on the introduction of legislation to repeal the 1931 abortion ban: 
“Michigan voters made it clear that abortion is healthcare when they voted to put Reproductive Freedom for All into our state constitution with a historic victory last November. Thank you to Michigan lawmakers who are further protecting reproductive healthcare and freedom by repealing the archaic 1931 abortion ban. We look forward to working together with state lawmakers and leaders to continue to remove barriers and increase equitable access to abortion and reproductive healthcare, and this includes the passage of the Reproductive Health Act in Michigan, to move toward true reproductive freedom statewide.”