Democrats in Lansing are not waiting any longer to push civil rights protections for gays, lesbians, and transgender people.
And the fact that Democrats are now out in front, signals this is no longer about adopting a policy, this is now political.
For several sessions, Democrats have introduced legislation to add LGBT protections to Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. But last year they were persuaded to wait by civil rights groups who at long last saw a policy success in their grasp. That’s if they could get a Republican to take the lead (because, of course, the GOP runs the show in Lansing).
This week, however, those hopes essentially fell apart as prospective Republican co-sponsors bailed, and GOP leaders put unacceptable conditions on taking up the bill.
Now, the sole, lonely Republican publicly backing LGBT rights in the civil rights law, says he has not given up. “We’re still working and talking with colleagues and educating,” said Republican state Representative Frank Foster. Interestingly enough, as we talked about last month on It's Just Politics, Foster lost his primary in August to a more socially conservative Republican. There's continued debate over whether or not his loss was do in part because of his support for adding LGBT rights to Elliott-Larsen.