Michigan Senate passes bill to protect LGBTQ+ community from job, housing, education discrimination

Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 08:42:32-05

(WXYZ) — With the pound of a gavel, LGBTQ activists say they are one step closer to inclusion.

"We've waited four decades for this," Samantha Rogers said.

On Wednesday, the Michigan Senate passed an amendment to the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, a law banning discrimination based on religion, race, age, and now sexual orientation and gender identity.

"This thing with Elliott Larsen, it changes so much. Transgender people are just trying to live their lives like anybody else. We are not a threat to anybody," Rodgers said.

Rodgers is a transgender woman herself and says the amendment will protect LGBTQ people from being fired or evicted because of who they choose to be or love.

The bill passed 23-15 Republicans with the exception of three voting no due to beliefs that the change infringes on religious rights.

"The change proposed to Elliot Larsen goes too far," one senator said. "Because it seeks to protect one group of people at the expense of others."

The bill is now headed to the Democrat-controlled House where it is expected to pass. Governor Gretchen Whitmer also supports the bill.

"When you give rights to someone else it doesn't take anything away from you," Samantha Rodgers said. "It just makes society better for everybody because it is a diverse world and ignoring that diversity just makes it somehow darker."