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Capitol Leadership: LGBT Civil Rights Could Come In 2014

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Paul Maritinez
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Northern Michigan Republicans retain their seats after some significant challenges. PHOTO: Paul Martinez (Flickr)

Republican leaders in the Legislature say they can see adding civil rights protections in housing and employment for lesbian, gay, and transgender people happening before the end of this year. That’s after Governor Rick Snyder said last week that he’d like lawmakers to take up the question.

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says he also thinks it’s time.

“This is really a form of adult bullying, I think – somebody’s trying to get a job,” he says. “You don’t condone their lifestyle to not discriminate against them. You should be hiring and firing people based on the content of their work, not what they do at home, so I don’t have a problem taking a look at this.”

House Speaker Jase Bolger says he thinks there is the will among lawmakers to change the civil rights law, although there are some complexities to sort through.

“So I look forward to working together to make sure that we protect people so that they are not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Nor should they be discriminated against because of their deeply held religious beliefs. So this will once again be about finding that balance so that Michigan citizens are respected and protected.” 

Both House and Senate leaders say that probably won’t happen until after the Legislature’s summer break. The plan is to wrap up the state budget, the state’s part in the Detroit bankruptcy, and transportation funding in the next two weeks before taking a recess.

Governor Rick Snyder said last week on Mackinac Island that he’d like the Legislature to take up the question this year.