LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Thursday was a new day for members of the LGBTQ+ community in Michigan as Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed new legislation that would protect the group from various acts of discrimination.

Whitmer joined Attorney General Dana Nessel and other legislators to expand the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act.

Under the new law, Michiganders cannot be fired from their job or evicted from their home because of who they are or who they love.

The bill’s signing came just over a week after it passed in the House.

Members of the Michigan Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety Committee held two meetings to hear testimony from people for and against these new protections back in February. Now, a signature by the governor added sexual orientation and gender expression as protected categories under the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act.

“Michigan is a state where we stand up for people’s fundamental freedoms. We’ve proved it over and over again these last few months, whether it’s your freedom to make your own decisions about your body, your freedom to go to school or work without worrying about a mass shooting, your freedom to be who you are, love who you love, and Michigan will always fight to protect that freedom,” said Whitmer.

LGBTQ+ activists say this move represents a milestone that was years in the making.

They hope this is just the beginning of creating more change on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community in our state.