What the state Supreme Court ruling on discrimination means for Michigan

What the state Supreme Court ruling on discrimination means for Michigan
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 10:24 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2022 at 12:20 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Thursday was a big victory for the LGBTQ+ community in Michigan.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that state law protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. The court said the word “sex” in in the civil rights law applies to sexual orientation.

Background: Michigan Supreme Court rules state’s anti-discrimination law covers sexual orientation

The 5-2 ruling means nobody can be discriminated in housing, employment and access to services because they are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Advocates said it’s good news for everybody.

“It was a major gap in our civil rights law that essentially allowed legal discrimination against the LGBTQ community,” said Sam Inglot, with Progress Michigan. “And with this ruling, that will no longer be the case.”

The 1976 Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act banned discrimination in Michigan on the basis of “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status.”

“This court case and this ruling has been a long time coming,” Inglot said. “Decades of work by the LGBTQ community and the activist there brought us to this moment.”

Supporters said protections for LGBTQ people weren’t set in stone before Thursday’s ruling. Now, nobody can be fired from their job or evicted from their home.

“These are people that have been kicked out of Michigan’s economy both as consumers and workers just because of their sexual orientation,” said Michigan Sen. Jeremy Moss.

“It’s a major step forward for building a more inclusive, welcoming and equitable Michigan, so it can be a great place for everyone to live, work, raise a family and be themselves,” Inglot said.

It’s not entirely clear how Thursday’s ruling could impact religious liberty. The Michigan Supreme Court said they are not deciding any religious issues in the ruling, which has not yet been codified into law.

The ruling can be read below

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