LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A bill that adds LGBTQ+ rights to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act was just passed by the Michigan Senate.

Senate Bill 4 passed roll call with 23 votes in favor, 15 votes against, 0 excused and 0 not voting.

The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act was adopted by the Michigan Senate in 1976 and was created “to define civil rights; to prohibit discriminatory practices, policies, and customs in the exercise of those rights based upon religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status.”

The expansion will protect Michiganders from discrimination in regard to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

“This historic victory would not have been possible without decades of hard work, countless sacrifices, and generations of courageous leaders,” said Erin Knott, executive director of Equality Michigan. “We are witnessing a sea of change toward equality and bringing us closer to ensuring that every person is treated equally under the law.”

Reactions from Michigan lawmakers and organizations have already begun coming out.

“Today, the Michigan Senate voted to amend our state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to explicitly include protections against discrimination for LGBTQ Michiganders. I was proud to stand with @jeremyallenmoss and everyone who’s fought for far too long, and vote yes,” said Michigan State Senate Majority Whip Mallory McMorrow.

The Michigan State Medical Society praised the Michigan Senate’s decision.

On behalf of the Michigan State Medical Society, I would like to commend the Michigan state Senate on its vote to extend the protections provided through the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights to those in the LGBTQ+ community. As an organization that’s fully committed to diversity and inclusion, we are proud of the Senate for taking this critical step towards making Michigan a more inclusive and equitable place for all of its residents.”

Thomas Veverka, MD

Michigan’s Human Rights Campaign applauded the Michigan Senate.

“We encourage the Michigan House to pass this bill as soon as possible and ensure that every Michigander is protected under the law, including LGBTQ+ people.”

Human Rights Campaign Michigan State Director Amritha Venkataraman

“The Michigan Senate approved SB4, expanding Michigan’s Civil Rights law to include sexual orientation and gender expression. I was proud to vote yes, expanding protections for LGBTQ residents in housing, employment, and public accommodation,” said MI State Sen. Jeff Irwin.