civil rights

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has barred embattled Michigan Civil Rights Department Director Agustin Arbulu. Whitmer says it’s time for Arbulu to be fired for “unacceptable conduct.”

 


 

Today on Stateside, a Republican proposal to fix Michigan’s roads is circulating in Lansing that wouldn't raise taxes. Plus a look at avian botulism, a disease that’s killing waterfowl across the Great Lakes.

Democratic lawmakers and Governor Gretchen Whitmer say it’s time to expand protections for Michigan’s LGBTQ people.

Some lawmakers have been trying for decades to expand the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. New bills would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the act. That would mean that people could not be denied housing or fired simply because they are LGBTQ.

NMU professors accuse school of gender discrimination

Feb 18, 2019
Northern Michigan University College of Business
Northern Michigan University College of Business

Four professors at Northern Michigan University in Marquette have filed a lawsuit alleging the university pays them less than their male coworkers.

Brian Farrar, an employment lawyer at Sterling Attorneys at Law, is representing them. He says female business professors at NMU are paid 10-40 percent less than their male counterparts. Farrar says they are also given less employment benefits and are being denied consideration for tenure positions.

The state Department of Civil Rights is now accepting complaints from people who say they’ve faced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s also getting ready to defend its right to do so.

 The Michigan Civil Rights Commission this week changed its interpretation of the state’s civil rights law. It now includes being refused housing or employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity as forms of sex discrimination.

Inmates sent to prison as children can sue the state over sexual abuse and other alleged misconduct, under a ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The lawsuit claims minors aged 13 to 17 who were sent to prison were beaten and sexually abused by adult inmates and prison staff. The state tried to get the lawsuit dismissed under a 1999 amendment to Michigan’s civil rights act that barred legal actions filed by inmates under that law.

The court struck that down.

It was an electrifying moment at last week's Golden Globes when Oprah Winfrey put the spotlight on a black woman from Alabama named Recy Taylor. In 1944, as she was coming home from church, Recy Taylor was kidnapped and raped by six white men. They left her blindfolded by the side of the road and threatened to kill her if she told anyone what had happened. She did anyway. Nevertheless, justice was never served.

LGBT activists say the state’s civil rights law is too vague when it comes to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Now they’re calling on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission to clarify the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act lists attributes people can’t discriminate for – like race, religion and sex.

Democrats in Lansing are taking another run at expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Democratic State Rep. Jon Hoadley of Kalamazoo and Senator Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor have introduced bills to expand civil rights protection to people who are LGBT.

Lawmakers in the state House and Senate are once again calling for more legal protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Lawmakers have tried for years to expand the state’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include legal protections for LGBT people.

Previous attempts have failed to make much progress, due in part to a Republican legislature.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the confrontation between civil rights marchers and Alabama State Troopers known as Bloody Sunday.

Retired teacher and librarian with Detroit Public Schools Gloria Mills has organized a bus trip to Selma for this weekend's commemoration.

Paul Maritinez/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.