City Council Calls for ban on Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

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Monday, September 22, 2014, 12:31 pm
Ann Nichols

On Tuesday, September 16, the East Lansing City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Michigan Legislature “to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity without further delay.”

The Resolution, which originated with East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplet, may be read here. It cites the fact that legislation banning discrimination would bring the State of Michigan into line with its own Civil Rights Act, and with the recommendations of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The State would also be joining the increasing ranks of municipalities already committed to banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity, including “thirty-three Michigan cities and townships” and “eighteen states and the District of Columbia.”

The Resolution also notes that legislation to ban discrimination in Michigan was introduced in 1983 and that “thirty-one years later neither state nor federal law prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a result, it remains legal to fire someone solely for being gay or transgender, to deny someone housing based only on their sexual orientation, and to refuse to serve someone based only on their gender identity.”

The Resolution was due to be approved as part of the Council’s consent agenda, a procedural vehicle for the swift passage of many items on which the entire body agrees. Councilwoman Ruth Beier, a member of the LGBT community, asked that it be moved to the Business Agenda specifically so that it could have a ceremonial reading and vote.


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