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Ballot committee seeks to add LGBT protections to MI constitution

Oct 30, 2015

Credit Flickr user Praveen / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A bipartisan group is forming a ballot committee to put gay and transgender rights into the Michigan Constitution.

“Fair Michigan” wants to add protections based on gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The campaign filed as a ballot committee Friday with the Michigan Bureau of Elections.

  

Dana Nessel is a co-chair of the campaign.  She says these protections against discrimination belong in the state constitution.

“I think this is the perfect place for these protections to be placed so that we know that people from all classes and all sects of society can have equal protection under the law,” she says. “If basic protections against discrimination don’t belong in the constitution, than I’m not really certain what the constitution is for.” 

Nessel is one of the main attorneys who worked on the legal challenge by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse to Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban. It was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court last June. She says the need for more civil rights protections became plain to her following the decision.

On a Friday, people went out and got married, and then they went to work on a Monday, and promptly got fired, and that’s something that should happen to no one.”

The Michigan Constitution already offers protections based on race, religion, color, and national origin. The amendment would have to be approved by voters if a petition drive succeeds in getting the question on the November 2016 ballot.