State Rep. Tom Kuhn today voted against a proposed amendment of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act – highlighting a lack of protection for girls’ and women’s sports as well as for religious freedom.
The state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in Michigan based on “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status” in employment, housing, education, and access to public accommodations. The Michigan Supreme Court has already held that Elliott-Larsen protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
But if the state is going to update the civil rights act, Kuhn said it’s imperative that women’s rights and religious freedoms be taken into consideration. “We need to allow our girls’ and women’s sports associations the right to restrict their sports organizations to females if they so choose.”
Kuhn said the plan works against the basis of Title IX, which ensures fair competition in sports between male and female athletes. Kuhn’s amendment to the legislation would have allowed girls’ and women’s sports associations the right to preclude biological males from female sports in public associations if they so choose, and a similar amendment Kuhn supported would have allowed schools to preclude biological males from female sports in schools.
“This bill could have a chilling effect on girls’ sports in Michigan,” Kuhn said. “Our girls and women have a right to a fair playing field. Biological males competing against them does not respect this principle. It’s the wrong message to send to our female students and athletes who train hard, work for scholarships and seek fair competition.”
Senate Bill 4 now advances to the governor for consideration. House Bill 4003 moves to the Senate for additional review.
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