Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: Legislature Should Take Up LGBT Protections

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said on Thursday that he would like the legislature to update Michigan's civil rights law to prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity, the AP reports:

Snyder"I don't believe in discrimination," the Republican governor told reporters at the Mackinac Policy Conference, the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual meeting for more than 1,500 business, political and civil leaders. "It's a healthy thing for the Legislature to look to take it up as an issue sometime this year."

He stopped short of specifically backing an update of the 1976 Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, but his request that the GOP-led Legislature debate legislation late this summer or in the fall was seen as a positive signal by advocates. Snyder's comments — his strongest to date — came the same day that Chrysler, other companies, the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce joined the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition, a group created this month to lobby to amend the law.

Snyder had said he was open to adding gays and lesbians to the state's protections back in December.

Snyder speaks another language when it comes to marriage, however.

In February he asked a judge to rule in favor of the state in a lawsuit filed by five same-sex couples demanding domestic partner benefits. And after Michigan's gay marriage ban was struck down in March, Snyder said the government would not recognize the marriages.

He has been an expert dodger when it comes to expressing his personal views on both topics.


  1. Robert M. says

    Nothing but political maneuvering in the run up to the fall elections. He doesn’t really believe that the GOP run legislature will actually do anything so it’s a freebie for him to make such pronouncements to make the GOP seem less extreme. Action is character except in the case of politicians. The only way to judge them is by what they change in the law, not what they say…

  2. Mike says

    Some GOP leadership on this issue. Now real change can begin. Tell me again why the Libs think they have an advantage in 2016? Prepare to see a tipping point now that the Party of Lincoln is finally tolerating LGB people. Though the T issues might (and should) scare them off.

  3. says

    A bit premature there, Mike. The GOP hasn’t shown any true leadership on LGBT rights, and Snyder is no exception. It’s the Michigan corporate and business community that’s showing leadership, and Snyder is merely playing wishes-washy catch-up. If the Michigan Republicans actually do anything to pass LGBT protections, then you start bragging.

    As for 2016, which Republican candidate do you suspect will be pro-gay? None of the contenders so far are even close …

  4. local_gay says

    @ERNIE…How is Christie not gay friendly?

    He’s exactly where Obama was up until 2 years ago.

  5. says

    You mean the Chris Christie who single-handedly blocked marriage equality in his state with a governor’s veto and then wasted taxpayer money fighting the court case he knew he would lose (and did lose)?

    Besides, Christie is washed-up as a national candidate and would never win the Republican nomination anyway because he is too “pro-gay” for the ever-backwards Republican platform.

  6. Randy says

    “He stopped short of specifically backing an update of the 1976 Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act”

    Probably because that act doesn’t have special religious exemptions, right?

  7. Randy says

    I correct myself. The existing Michigan anti-discrimination law does already contain special religious exemptions for religious dining clubs, religious education, and use of religious real estate.

    And some groups are more equal than others. Instead of listing the grounds on which people may not be discriminated against, generally, EACH individual protection has its own list.

    This is a pretty corrupt act, and needs updating in any case.

  8. Victor says

    Mike, funny comment.

    It was Snyder who pretended to be “moderate” to be elected. Only a few years ago he signed the bill revoking the right of municipalities and state departments to provide benefits to non-married but permanent couples. A lot of organizations and people in the state appealed to him to veto it, but he signed it. That’s how much leadership GOP in general and Snyder specifically provided in Michigan.