Diocese of Lansing parish files lawsuit against state Michigan Attorney General

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 8:44 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:17 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A lawsuit against the Michigan Attorney General was filed Monday that alleges it could be illegal for a Mid-Michigan parish to adhere to its religious beliefs.

The complaint is in response to a Michigan Supreme Court ruling in July that said the state’s anti-discrimination law covers sexual orientation.

Background: What the state Supreme Court ruling on discrimination means for Michigan

In a 5-2 ruling, the Michigan Supreme Court said the word “sex” in Michigan’s civil rights law applies to sexual orientation and not just gender.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is representing Saint Joseph Parish in Saint Johns in the case. The lawsuit claims that without religious exemptions, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act would undermine Saint Joseph Parish’s religious liberty and the First Amendment.

“We filed a lawsuit to protect Saint Joseph’s right to live out its faith as a religious institution,” said Lori Windham, with Becket. “Michigan cannot force the Catholic Church to compromise its religious character simply because its doors are open to all.”

The lawsuit alleges Saint Joseph faces the risk of being held liable for discrimination.

In addition to Attorney General Dana Nessel, the lawsuit also lists the executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and members of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission as defendants.

More information can be found on the official Becket website here.

The complaint can be read in full below.

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