LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s civil rights law bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The ruling dates back to a same-sex couple that was denied from getting married at a Michigan venue.
The lawsuit, Rouch World LLC et al v Michigan Department of Civil Rights et al, was brought by businesses that denied services to customers who were either a same-sex couple or an individual who was transitioning their gender identity, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
The Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act in Michigan protects people based on things like religion, race, age and sex.
But how sex is interpreted has been murky. That is until now.
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled “the denial of the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or public service” on the basis of sexual orientation constitutes discrimination “because of . . . sex” and, therefore, constitutes a violation of the ELCRA.”
Nessel, who has been vocal about this lawsuit, has come out in support of the decision from the top court.
“Now, more than ever, it is critical that those of us elected to public office work to preserve and protect the rights of all residents. Today’s ruling confirms what we have long known—that the protections afforded by the ELCRA cover all Michiganders.
“It is also important to recognize that the rights of Michigan’s LGBTQ+ community are based on precedent from court decisions. And while we were once a nation that respected the value of legal precedent to help preserve our rights, that may no longer be the case. Now is the time to enshrine our rights in law to ensure no person in this state ever experiences barriers to employment, housing, education, or public accommodations and services because of who they are or whom they love.
“Our residents deserve to live in a state that recognizes the value of diversity and rejects the notion that our own civil rights law could be used as a tool of discrimination. This ruling is not only a victory for the LGBTQ+ community, but for all Michigan residents, and one that’s long overdue.”
Stay tuned with 6 News as we will continue to cover this story throughout the day.