Photo by Doug Zuba on Unsplash

A new coalition called Fair and Equal Michigan has launched a campaign to amend Michigan’s Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976 to extend anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals.

The group is seeking to have more 340,000 signatures of valid voters by May 27 to force the state legislature to either adopt the proposed law or have it included in the general election ballot in November 2020. The proposed law aims to prohibit discrimination in housing, workplace and public accommodation based on gender identity, sexual orientation or sexual expression.

According to the leaders of the coalition, it does not make sense for the Legislature to refuse to include LGBTQ people in the civil rights act since the state has already lifted the ban on same-sex marriage five years ago.

The initiative is supported by top business executive in the state. They include Dow Chemical CEO Jim Fitterling, DTE Energy CEO Jerry Norcia, Whirlpool Corp. vice president Jeff Noel, Consumers Energy CEO Patti Pope, The Sam Bernstein Law Firm PLCC president and managing partner Mark Bernstein and Herman Miller CEO Andi Owen. It is also endorsed by Apple CEO Tim Cook, former Bell Atlantic Chairman Raymond Smith and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

A survey conducted by pollster Richard Czuba of Glengariff Group Inc. found that 77% of voters would support the ballot initiative. Even those who identified themselves as “strong Republican” (66%) would support the initiative.