Michigan business group calls for an end to discrimination against gays

Apr 30, 2014

Doug Rothwell is president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.
Doug Rothwell is president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.
Credit Business Leaders for Michigan.

There is a growing chorus in Michigan to stop employment discrimination against gays.

The latest challenge is coming from Business Leaders for Michigan.

As part of its 2014 Michigan Turnaround Plan, the group is challenging Michigan leaders to pass an anti-discrimination law that includes protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender workers.

Current state law does nothing to protect against this type of discrimination.

In Michigan, it is completely legal to discriminate against LGBT people.

Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham explained why this type of discrimination is legal in the state:

The Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act is Michigan’s law to prohibit discrimination. It includes protections for religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, family status, and marital status.

But, if you’re gay, you’re just out of luck.

“If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered in Michigan, you can be fired because of it, in fact, you can be fired because you are perceived to be whether you are in reality or not. You can be denied a place to live or kicked out of where you do live. You can be denied a public accommodation. For example, you can be turned away from a restaurant or a hotel,” (Leslee Fritz of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights) explained.

On Stateside today, the president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, Doug Rothwell, joined us. Rothwell spoke to us about why such protections for LGBT people are important to businesses in the state.

*Listen to our conversation with Rothwell above.