Michigan civil rights commission tables action on LGBTQ discrimination again

DETROIT — Equality Michigan (EQMI) said late Monday afternoon that the Michigan Civil Rights Commission had again tabled its reconsideration of covering anti-LGBTQ discrimination after pressure from the state attorney general.

From Equality Michigan’s Facebook page:

Despite the overwhelming weight of authority indicating that they have the power to act on anti-LGBT discrimination, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission capitulated to bullying from the office of the Attorney General. As a result, a cloud of uncertainty remains over the question of what constitutes sex discrimination in Michigan and LGBT Michiganders are left without the opportunity to have their claims heard.

“LGBT Michiganders have been left in an impossible catch twenty-two by the inaction of Commission and the Department, stated Nathan Triplett, EQMI’s Director of Public Policy. “On the one hand, the Department has unilaterally decided not to accept sex discrimination complaints from LGBT persons, without any authority in statute, case law, or Commission direction for their position. On the other, the Commission steadfastly refuses to do their duty and to provide direction to the Department. The Commission and the Department, which are charged with protecting Michiganders from discrimination, are instead compounding the damage done by anti-LGBT discrimination in Michigan. Equality Michigan will explore every avenue at its disposal, including legal action against the Commission, to secure nondiscrimination protection for LGBT Michiganders.”

Stephanie White, EQMI’s Executive Director stated, “The AG’s office today asserted several self-contradictory points that clouded the Commission’s understanding of their role and power. Given that the law is clear, but the AG’s office was avoiding that fact, I can only conclude that the purpose here today was not to follow Michigan law, but rather to push the Commissioners to follow his interpretation instead of making their own. This is a shameful day for the rule of law in Michigan.”

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