Education groups join calls for LGBT rights in Michigan

Aug 26, 2014

The list of groups calling on state lawmakers to pass protections for LGBT people is growing. Organizations representing Michigan college, university, and school officials now say they support the measure.

Credit user Marlith / Flickr

They join more than 50 business and non-profit groups urging lawmakers to pass the legislation, which the coalition expects to be introduced next month.

“We see it both as an important message for students but also an important issue for community colleges, as they are also in the business of attracting talent,” said Michigan Community College Association President Mike Hansen on a call with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

The coalition says too many talented people are leaving the state because they can legally be fired, denied employment, or denied housing for being gay.

“We hear stories from the university sector that we export teachers out of state all the time,” said Don Wotruba with the Michigan Association of School Boards. “And so we looked at this as a change in law that hopefully will bring about an ability to keep our best and brightest as much as possible in Michigan.”

The coalition hopes lawmakers will introduce and pass legislation adding LGBT protections before the November election.

Some Republicans in the Legislature say they’re concerned the measure would infringe on the rights of religious people.