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2/23/2015

Gay marriage case may affect discrimination bill

Gay marriage case may affect discrimination bill


David Eggert, Associated Press

11:59 p.m. EST January 24, 2015

LansingGov.RickSnyderhopestoresuscitatelegislationthatwouldprotectgayandtransgender
residentsfromdiscrimination,whileLGBTadvocatesexploreaskingvoterstopassthebillsinceit'sunlikelyto
cleartheGOPledLegislature.
InhisStateoftheStatespeech,theRepublicangovernorcalledforcontinueddiscussionoveramending
Michigan'scivilrightslawtoprohibitdiscriminationagainstlesbian,gay,bisexualandtransgenderresidentsin
employment,housingandplacesopentothepublic.
(Photo:DaleG.Young/TheDetroit
News)

"Let'sshowthatwecandealwithissuesofdiscriminationinourstate,"Snydersaid,drawingapplausefrom
DemocratsandsomeRepublicans.

ButafterTuesday'saddress,newGOPHouseSpeakerKevinCotterofMountPleasanttoldreportersthatheseesnoneedformoredebateafterthe
businessbackedlegislationstalledinNovemberwithoutavote.
TheU.S.SupremeCourt'srecentdecisiontotakeupconstitutionalchallengestoagaymarriagebaninMichigan,however,mayintensifypressureon
lawmakersfromboththeLGBTcommunityandsocialconservatives.
"Youcouldhaveasituationwherepeopleareallowedtogetmarriedinastatebutwilllosetheirjobsiftheyweretocomeoutpubliclyorletitbeknown
thattheygotmarriedtoasamesexpartner,"saidSommerFoster,directorofpoliticaladvocacyforEqualityMichigan.
Untilayearago,shesaid,everystatewheresamesexmarriageislegalalsohadantidiscriminationprotectionsforgays.Butasawaveoflowercourts
ruledquicklyinfavorofgaymarriagerights,manynowallowsamesexmarriageyetdon'thavenondiscriminationpolicies.
"TheimpendingSupremeCourtdecisionmakesitevenmoreurgent,"Fostersaid.
Realisticabouttheyettobereintroducedbill'sfuture,theorganizationisstudyingwhethera2016ballotmeasureisanoptionandifenoughmoneycan
beraisedforasignaturegatheringandadvertisingcampaign.
Afinaldecisionwillbemadeinsixto12months.Therehasneverbeenastatewidevoteinanystateonsuchameasure,Fostersaid.
ASeptemberpollconductedforTheDetroitNewsandWDIVTVbytheGlengariffGroupshowed74percentof600likelystatevoterswereinsupportof
makingitillegaltofireordenyhousingtosomeonebecauseheorsheisgay,lesbian,bisexualortransgender.Eighteenpercentwereinopposition,with
amarginofsamplingerrorofplusorminus4percentagepoints.
SomesupportersofaproposedstateversionofthefederalReligiousFreedomRestorationActalsosaytheirefforttoshieldaperson'ssincerelyheld
beliefsfromgovernmentoverreachcouldbemorevitalgiventheSupremeCourt'sapproachinggaymarriagerulingwhichisexpectedbytheendof
June.Theproposedlaw,whichdiedintheRepublicancontrolledSenateinDecemberafterbeingpassedbytheHouse,wasreintroducedthesameday
asSnyder'sStateoftheStateaddress.
"We'reveryhopefulitwillgetawarmerreception,"saidTomHickson,vicepresidentforpublicpolicyandadvocacyattheMichiganCatholicConference,
whichhaslobbiedforthelegislationforatleast15years."Idon'tseeanyreasontothinkthatthisisn'tsomethingthat'sgoingtohavecertainlysome
robustdiscussions."
BackersoftheMichiganreligiouslibertybillpointtocasessuchasasuburbanDenverbakerwhorefusedtomakeacakeforasamesexweddingandis
fightinganorderrequiringhimtoservegaycouplesagainsthisreligiousbeliefs.
Duringtherecentlameducksession,Snyderexpressedconcernwithenactingreligiouslibertylegislationifitdidn'tcoincidewithalsoupdatingthe1976
ElliottLarsenCivilRightsAct.
SenateMinorityLeaderJimAnanich,DFlint,saidhehopestheGOPmajoritydecidesagainstpursuingthereligiousfreedombill.

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/michigan/2015/01/24/gay-marriage-case-may-affect-discrimination-bill/22299241/

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2/23/2015

Gay marriage case may affect discrimination bill

"I'mhopefulthatthey'llrealizethatweneedtobefindingsolutionsthathelpallMichiganfamilies,notpanderingtoideologueswithineachofourparties,"
hesaid.
FollowDavidEggertathttp://twitter.com/DavidEggert00

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2/23/2015

Gay marriage case may affect discrimination bill

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