Petition for more LGBTQ protections in Michigan moves online

Fair and Equal Michigan pushes forward with civil rights amendment

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TUESDAY, April 14 — A petition to expand civil rights protections for LGBTQ people in Michigan is moving forward as organizers continue to collect electronic signatures online.

Fair and Equal Michigan announced this week that it will be the first initiative to collect virtual petition signatures for its campaign to amend Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in order to better protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.

Organizers have until May 27 to turn in 340,047 valid signatures required by the state. More than 150,000 have already signed the petition, and an ongoing “risk mitigation plan” aims to collect another 542,000 signatures to ensure the measure isn’t rejected on any technicalities.

The goal: expand the existing definition of “sex” in the state’s anti-discrimination law to include “gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.” It would also amend the definition of “religion” to include the “religious beliefs of an individual.”

Once the petition is submitted, state lawmakers will have another 40 days to either adopt the proposal or allow voters to decide the matter during this year’s General Election in November.

“To keep our supporters safe and to recognize the stay-at-home orders by the state, we are encouraging people to sign the petition for LGBTQ equality electronically during this unique moment,” Fair and Equal Michigan Co-Chair Trevor Thomas said in a recent press release.

Registered voters can visit fairandequalmichigan.com to sign the electronic version of the petition.

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