Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) For the first time in Michigan’s history, a state building is now named after a Black woman. The building formerly known as the Lewis-Cass building on Walnut St. downtown is now the Elliot-Larsen building.
The building honors the late Daisy Elliot, who was a trailblazing African American woman in the House of Representative, and Melvin Larsen, a White man Whitmer claims is her favorite republican, who was also in the house.
Together, the two passed the Elliot and Larsen civil rights act of 1976 making it a crime to discriminate against a person based off of their religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, weight, height, familial status and marital status.
The Elliot-Larsen civil rights act was the first civil rights law to be included in a state constitution. The law was historic, but so was the bi-partisan, multi-racial effort to pass it, which is something Michigan leaders said today, is something they are looking to for inspiration during these divisive times.
“In this tumultuous time more than ever i thought it was an important statement of who we are and what we believe in. That we are republican and we are democrat but we are Michiganders first. That we are men and we are women but we are Michiganders first, we are straight and we are LGBTQ but we are Michiganders first and so we have more work to do,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Right now, the Elliot Larsen civil rights act does not include the LGBTQ community, but Mel Larsen says he agrees that it should be added.