Violators of Michigan’s new LGBTQ+ discrimination law could be fined up to $50,000, according to new legislation passed by the state House and Senate.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is set to sign the law passed on partisan lines that makes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity a punishable offense.
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Democrats denied religious protections put forth in amendments by Republicans.
Anyone convicted of a civil rights violation in Michigan could incur charges of $10,000 for the first violation, and up to $50,000, for two-or-more violations within a seven-year period.
“No one should be fired from their job or evicted from their home because of who they are,” Whitmer tweeted in response to the legislation passing. “I’m proud that we’re finally getting it done.”
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No one should be fired from their job or evicted from their home because of who they are. For years, I’ve been calling for changes to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to strengthen legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community.— Gretchen Whitmer (@gretchenwhitmer) March 9, 2023
I’m proud that we’re finally getting it done.
The legislation originated with Michigan Senate President Pro Tempore Jeremy Moss (D-MI), who celebrated the passing of the legislation on his Twitter account.
Celebrating #equality as the Michigan House passes my bill to include #LGBTQ protections in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and sends it to @GovWhitmer to be signed into law!— Senator Jeremy Moss (@JeremyAllenMoss) March 8, 2023
What a moment. pic.twitter.com/SEWdqCs4ep
Moss, along with fellow Democrats in the state Senate denied amendments from their Republican counterparts that attempted to afford greater religious protections due to concerns that the bill would result in the punishment of people upholding their religious beliefs.
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“Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the act will not compel a church to marry an LGBTQ couple,” stated Moss. “But adherents of a religion are required to follow neutral, generally-applicable laws.”
For far too long, #LGBTQ Michiganders could not seek justice after enduring discrimination because we were excluded from our state’s civil rights act.— Senator Jeremy Moss (@JeremyAllenMoss) March 1, 2023
In a historic vote today, the Michigan Senate passed my bill to expand the act and liberate our community. 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/heEhTktKe9
But recent history says otherwise, according to a Daily Wire report:
Last summer, Michigan’s highest court ruled against two businesses who conducted their operations in accordance with their religious beliefs. The Michigan Supreme Court issued their ruling in Rouch World LLC, et al. v. Michigan Department of Civil Rights, et al.based on a similar interpretation of civil rights protections passed Wednesday by the state legislature.
The court declared last July that the state’s civil rights protection extended to sexual orientation and gender identity. The majority ruled against two businesses for refusing services based on their religious beliefs: Rouch World, who refused to host a same-sex wedding, and UpRooted Electrolysis, who refused to give hair removal services to a man identifying as a woman.