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Community Advocacy Organization

Michigan Department of Civil Rights Issues Statement on theExpanded LGBTQ+ Protections

Under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act

John E. Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, has issued the following statement after Governor Whitmer’s official signing of the updated Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. “Today is a reminder that freedom and equality are both working promises. In 1963 Michigan became the first state in the nation to enshrine civil rights protections, and their enforcement, into its Constitution. In the almost 60 years since, Michigan has constructed one of the most comprehensive civil rights sanctuaries in the US. It cannot be overstated that we are expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression at a time when other states are banning books and redacting history. I am proud to say that the Michigan Civil Rights Commission led this effort with a 2018 interpretive statement that the word ‘sex’ in ELCRA includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Our commission, judges, legislators, and now Governor have all spoken: We believe in equality for ALL people and we will defend our freedom.”

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is charged with investigating and resolving discrimination complaints and works to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws. The Department also provides information and services to businesses on diversity initiatives and equal employment law. For more information on the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, go to


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