32nd Michigan City Adds LGBT Non-discrimination Protections

Lathrup Village becomes 32nd municipality in Michigan to modernize their Non-discrimination Ordinance

February 25, 2014 —Last night the Lathrup City Council voted unanimously to modernize their non-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity, making them the 32nd municipality in Michigan to do so.

“We applaud the Lathrup Village City Council for their leadership and commitment to freedom and opportunity,” said Jared Volz, of the Unity Michigan coalition. “This ordinance ensures that all hardworking people in Lathrup Village, including gay and transgender people, have a chance to earn a living for themselves and their families.”

Right now in Michigan, it’s perfectly legal to be fired just for being gay. Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act protects against discrimination based on race, religion, height, weight, and many more classifications, but not for sexual orientation or gender identity. So local officials across Michigan are taking action, and the momentum is staggering.

Just last year 10 other municipalities adopted similar ordinances and the Michigan Municipal League endorsed LGBT inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances. And, according to Unity Michigan, more are on the way.

“When local elected officials realize it’s legal to fire someone just for being gay, and that they have the authority to address that discrimination in their communities, they are overwhelmingly supportive.” says Volz.

Support for nondiscrimination protections in Michigan is broad. Over 75% of Michiganders support making Michigan an equal opportunity state (see Glengarriff Group Poll http://www.unitymichigan.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/michigan_2013_gay_and_lesbian_issues_survey_report.pdf)

For a list of municipalities with ordinances visit: http://www.unitymichigan.org/cities-with-ordinances/

The Unity Michigan Coalition works to ensure that all Michiganders are treated fairly by advancing non-discrimination policies. www.unitymichigan.org The Unity Michigan Coalition includes the ACLU of Michigan, Affirmations, Equality Michigan, the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, KICK, the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Ruth Ellis Center.

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30 Municipalities in Michigan Stand For Fairness & Equality

Election Day 2013 was a big day for equality in Michigan. To date, 30 municipalities have adopted ordinances protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination (see the full list below).

On November 5, Voters in Royal Oak upheld that city’s nondiscrimination ordinance which was passed 6-1 by the City Council in March but subjected to a voter referendum by opponents of fairness and equality.

That same night in Meridian Township elected officials voted to expand their nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classifications.

That brings the total number of municipalities in Michigan that protect gay and transgender people from discrimination to 30. Which begs the question: When will Michigan adopt statewide nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people?

The answer: not soon enough. To do that, elected officials in Lansing need to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s a simple fix, but a very complicated process. So, while we continue to work with officials in the state legislature, we help local activists pass ordinances in their own communities. Together we can send a message to Lansing that now is the time to change the law.

Sign the petition to amend the Michigan Civil Rights Act to include gay and transgender people.

Contact Unity Michigan to start working on an ordinance in your town.

Currently, 30 municipalities in Michigan protect gay and transgender people from discrimination. All ordinances are inclusive of gay and transgender people, and of employment and housing, unless noted. This list was updated November 11, 2013.

Ann Arbor

Battle Creek

Birmingham (housing – sexual orientation)

Dearborn Heights

Delhi Township

Delta Township

Detroit

Village of Douglas

East Lansing

Ferndale

Flint (housing and public accommodations)

Grand Ledge (sexual orientation)

Grand Rapids

Huntington Woods

Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Township

Linden

Lansing

Meridian Township

Mt. Pleasant

Muskegon

Oshtemo Township

Pleasant Ridge

Royal Oak

Saginaw (housing – sexual orientation)

Saugatuck Township

Saugatuck

Traverse City

Union Township

Ypsilanti

Don’t see your city listed above? Click here to start working on an ordinance in your town.

Watch the Video on October 11

Michigan, meet Tom.

Tom is a hardworking Michigander who is great at his job. But that doesn’t matter to Tom’s boss, who suspects Tom might be gay and can legally fire him JUST for being gay.meet tom 350_pixelClick here to join the roll out team!

You see, right now in Michigan the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act protects people based on race, color, creed, religion, height, weight and a number of other classifications. But there are no protections whatsoever for sexual orientation and gender identity.

We need to change the law in Michigan so that all hardworking people in our state have a chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families without the fear of being fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job.

Help us spread the word on October 11!

Unity Michigan Statewide Update: July 2013

What a week it has been for equality in Michigan! Over the past few days, both Kalamazoo Township and Meridian Township passed ordinances protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination! Help us say thank you! 


These were huge victories for our movement
. And, with all the great work happening around the state, more wins are right around the corner.
See below for an extensive update on what’s happening around Michigan.Don’t see your town listed?

Contact us today to start working on a local non-discrimination ordinance in your community!

West Michigan

Oshtemo Township: The Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center continues to advocate for a fully inclusive human rights ordinance in Oshtemo Township. Sign the petition urging Oshtemo Township to adopt non-discrimination protections.

Battle Creek: Sign the Battle Creek petition here! One Battle Creek held their campaign kickoff last night with 46 people in attendance! A great turnout! One Battle Creek has set the ambitious goal of identifying 1,000 supporters of fairness and equality by the next city commission meeting on August 6. Sign the Battle Creek petition here!

Holland: Holland is Ready announced a growing list of business supporters. Find out more and support Holland Is Ready by signing up here.

Greenville: 
Local Activists are gathering support from business and faith leaders as the city council prepares to discuss a non-discrimination ordinance later this year. Sign the Greenville petition!

Eureka Township: Sign the petition for Eureka Township! The board of trustees is researching non-discrimination ordinances in other townships. A close neighbor of Greenville, Eureka Township is expected to begin discussion on their non-discrimination ordinance concurrently with Greenville.

Mid-Michigan (One Capital Region)

Meridian Township: Following the passage of an inclusive Fair Housing Ordinance, Meridian Trustees are drafting an ordinance to address discrimination in employment and public accommodations.
Delta Township: Trustees have written an ordinance that will expand non-discrimination protections to gay and transgender people in housing, public accommodations, and employment. The township is on track to pass this ordinance by August 19. Click here to join us at the next meeting!
Lansing Township: Discussions about an inclusive human rights ordinance are starting up in Lansing Township. The Board will be revisiting the topic at their July 30 meeting. Sign the petition for Lansing Township here!
Delhi Township: Sign up to volunteer here! Constituents in Delhi Township have expressed their overwhelming support for a local non-discrimination ordinance. We expect more positive developments in Delhi Township soon!
Southeast Michigan
Royal Oak: Earlier this year the city of Royal Oak passed a fully inclusive human rights ordinance, but opponents of fairness and equality gathered enough signatures to force the ordinance to the ballot this November. An overwhelming victory in Royal Oak will send a clear message that Michigan stands for equality for all it’s residents. Learn more about what’s at stake in Royal Oak by checking out this great article from PrideSource!

“One Battle Creek” Announces Kickoff Event

This week, local activists in Battle Creek came together to form “One Battle Creek” – the campaign working to make sure that all residents of Battle Creek, including gay and transgender people, are treated fairly and equally under the laws of the city.

“Right now in Battle Creek you can be fired just for being gay or transgender,” said Larry Dillon of One Battle Creek, “But over 75% of Michiganders have said they support nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations. It’s time for us to change the law in Battle Creek.”

The poll Dillon refers to was conducted by the Glengariff Group in May 2013.

One Battle Creek is the latest group to tackle nondiscrimination protections at the local level and has the full support of the Unity Michigan Coalition. “Unity Michigan applauds the efforts of One Battle Creek to make sure their city is a place where all people are treated fairly and equally under the law,” said Jon Hoadley of Unity Michigan. “In today’s economic climate, we should be helping people keep their jobs, not firing them because they are gay.”

One Battle Creek joins One Capital Region and One Royal Oak campaigns as the latest group to form in order to advance of nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender Michiganders.

Those interested in advancing equality in the Battle Creek area are invited to attend One Battle Creek’s first organizational meeting on July 23 at 6:30pm at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Battle Creek.

Find One Battle Creek on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OneBattleCreek

NEW SURVEY: Michigan Small Businesses Support Non-Discrimination Protections for Gay Employees

Unity Michigan Explains Findings Consistent with State’s Commitment to Fairness

June 20, 2013– The Small Business Majority has released an opinion poll showing that a majority of small business owners support non-discrimination protections for gay and transgender workers.

Not only did small business owners support these protections against employment discrimination, but a majority believed that such laws already existed.

“It’s true, but not everyone knows: Here in Michigan, you can be legally fired from your job just for being gay or transgender,” said Jon Hoadley of the Unity Michigan coalition.

According to the poll, seven in 10 small businesses think businesses are hurt in their efforts to attract the best talent by discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The poll, conducted April 8-17, 2013 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, found 54 percent of Michigan entrepreneurs believe federal law should prohibit employment discrimination against gay and transgender people, and 61 percent believe Michigan should have a law prohibiting this type of discrimination. A sweeping 76 percent didn’t realize it’s currently legal under federal law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay, lesbian or transgender, and 73 percent were unaware it is legal in Michigan to refuse to hire someone based on sexual preference or gender identity.

The respondents were majority Republican, with 50 percent identifying as Republican, 27 percent as Democrat and 13 percent as independent or other.

“Poll after poll has shown that across the board, a majority of Michiganders support fairness and equality—including small business owners,” Hoadley said. “It’s time Michigan steps up to treat all workers fairly and equally.”

Check out the fact sheet for Michigan here.

The Small Business Majority is a national nonprofit organization focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses. www.smallbusinessmajority.org

The Unity Michigan Coalition works to ensure that all Michiganders are treated fairly by advancing non-discrimination policies. www.unitymichigan.org

The Unity Michigan Coalition includes the ACLU of Michigan, Affirmations, Equality Michigan, KICK, the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Ruth Ellis Center.

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Unity on the latest polling

Unity Michigan’s statement on today’s poll from Glengariff Group:
“The vast majority of Michiganders support fairness and equality for gay and transgender people. This is a clear consensus: the people of Michigan support non-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people. It’s time our state legislature takes action to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include these critical protections.”
-Jon Hoadley, Unity Michigan

CAPITOL REGION LEADERS CALL FOR FAIRNESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2013

CONACT:Sarah Kennedy
skennedy@civitaspublicaffairs.com

CAPITOL REGION LEADERS CALL FOR FAIRNESS
Delta, Delhi, and Meridian Townships push for equality

LANSING — Just weeks after Michigan passed its 23rd local non-discrimination ordinance, leaders from across the Capitol Region came together today to call for further ordinances to protect all residents, including gay and transgender people. Their press conference reminded residents that East Lansing has the country’s oldest non-discrimination law, which dates back over 40 years, and that the majority of Michiganders support this type of protection.

Statement from Angela Wilson, Meridian TownshipTrustee
“I cannot believe that in 2013, right here in Meridian, it is legal to fire someone from their job just because they are gay or transgender. That isn’t right! Everyone should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our city. It’s time for us to step up and help make that happen.”

Statement from Ken Fletcher, Delta Township Supervisor
“As a leader here in Delta Township, it is my hope that we are all treated fairly and equally. Passing a non-discrimination ordinance that makes sure all of us—gay, straight, transgender—are protected. We all are called on to treat our neighbors as we would like to be treated. That’s what this ordinance would do.”

Statement from Evan Hope, Delhi Township Clerk
“Over 20 cities here in Michigan, and over 100 across the country, have successfully passed ordinances prohibiting discrimination. It’s time for Delhi to join these cities. It’s time for Delhi to make sure everyone is treated fairly and equally.”

Resources: Polling: http://dontchangeyourself.com/Quinlan2011.pdf
Cities with ordinances: http://www.unitymichigan.org/cities-with-ordinances

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PRESS ADVISORY: CAPITOL REGION LEADERS CALL FOR FAIRNESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2013
CONACT: Sarah Kennedy
skennedy@civitaspublicaffairs.com

 LANSING — On Wednesday, leaders from across the Capitol Region will gather to launch One Capitol Region, a coalition working in support of non-discrimination ordinances in Delhi, Delta, and Meridian Townships—which will protect all residents, including gay and transgender people, from discrimination.

WHAT: Press Conference Launch of One Capitol Region

WHEN: Wednesday, May 8, 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Outside the State Capitol; near Austin Blair statue adjacent to Capitol Avenue

WHO: Elected officials from the Capitol Region, including: Mayor Pro Tem Nathan Triplett (East Lansing) Trustee Angela Wilson (Meridian), Clerk Evan Hope (Delhi), and Supervisor Ken Fletcher (Delta).

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