State Rep. Jamie Thompson today voted against a proposed expansion of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act – highlighting a lack of protection for religious freedoms.
The state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in Michigan on the basis of “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status” in employment, housing, education, and access to public accommodations. Senate Bill 4 and House Bill 4003 add sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the categories protected from discrimination.
Thompson said she was open to supporting the plans if religious freedoms were carefully taken into consideration as other states have done when widening Elliott-Larsen, but Democrats in majority refused to adopt amendments that would have guaranteed these freedoms.
“I was open to having these discussions and working across the aisle. The extreme position Democrats have taken with this plan opens our state up to lawsuits pertaining to Constitutional protections,” said Thompson, of Brownstown. “This was another example of Democrats ramming through legislation without thinking about the ramifications. We could have crafted a more effective solution that was respectful to everyone who will be involved in these changes.”
Senate Bill 4 now advances to the governor for consideration. House Bill 4003 moves to the Senate for additional review.
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