LANSING, MI (WLNS) – In Lansing a house committee refused to take a vote Wednesday on expanding the state’s civil rights act to include the LGBT community.
6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick says the issue could be done for the year.
The pro and anti-gay forces were out in force as a house committee debated to expand the states Civil Rights law, the Elliot Larsen Act to include all segments of the LGBT community.
“We continue to have groups that are not protected by the law which is just wrong and outdated so now is the time to modernize the Elliot Larsen act,” said Kary Moss, Michigan ACLU.
But it turns out this was not the time as the committee adjourned without taking a vote.
That was considered a victory by opponents.
“This kind of policy is going to open up pastors and Christian leaders to being prosecuted under the guise of hate speech,” said a reverend from Flint.
Portions of the state’s business community lined up behind this legislation claiming it was need to attract workers to this state.
“I think it’s frankly embarrassing for our state. Were now almost in 2015. This is something done widely across the country and in 33 cities in our own state have done it it’s very hard for me to understand how on one hand we can say we want to attract and attain the very best talent in Michigan but then we condone a practice that turns people away from this state,” said Nathan Triplett, East Lansing Mayor.
David Agema has been battling this legislation from the get go.
This has been basically used as a vehicle to go after people who have religious principles and churches and had law suits brought against them.
They scream tolerance. We have to be tolerant but they are the most intolerance of people’s views.
The governor who wanted this debate is disappointed
“I wish we had made progress on Elliot Larsen so hopefully there are days left and we’ll see what happens,” said Governor Rick Snyder, Lansing.
If not, there’s always next year.
In theory those who support this expansion could vote to discharge the committee of the bill thus forcing a house floor vote, but that could be a challenge as well.
The group E-Quality Michigan released a statement on the house committee’s decision not to vote, saying: “only with protections in state law will all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender Michiganders be “fully protected” from discrimination in the work-place and also in housing and access to public spaces and services.”