Michigan Business Group Donates $ 100,000 to Help Revive Campaign for LGBT Rights

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In-person signature gathering is set to restart for a Michigan campaign to put an LGBT rights proposal on the ballot for Michigan voters.

The campaign, called Fair and Equal Michigan, receives a boost of $ 100,000 from Michigan business leaders. The endorsement is proof that the issue has broad support, said campaign co-chair Trevor Thomas.

“It’s no longer a Democratic or Republican issue, as evidenced by the approvals we’ve received from business groups like Business Leaders for Michigan,” Thomas said.

If passed, the ballot initiative would amend Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to extend protections against discrimination to LGBT people. To do this, it suffices to redefine “sex” to include “gender, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression”, in the language of the act, by group.

Business Leaders for Michigan is a “roundtable of state-owned enterprises” whose goal is to make Michigan one of the top ten states for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. Its members generate nearly 40% of the state’s economy and generate more than $ 1,000 billion in annual revenue, per BLM.

“As a state, we can do more to demonstrate that Michigan is a state that accepts ALL residents,” Patti Poppe, CEO of Consumers Energy and co-chair of BLM PAC, said in a press release. “Anyone who wants to make Michigan their home – to start or continue a career, expand their family, or move to our state just to take advantage of our abundant natural resources – must know that they will be welcomed and treated equally before the law. “

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign was launched in January in hopes of securing the proposal in the November 2020 ballot. Then COVID-19 arrived, and the group failed to reach the nearly 350,000 signatures needed. end of May to get to the poll.

He has collected around 30,000 signatures online in the meantime, claiming they are valid. The campaign is now reverting to collecting signatures in person to avoid legal issues and delays, and will search for the 30,000 people who have signed up online to re-sign in person, Thomas said.

“It’s just being overly cautious,” Thomas said. “We are certainly not suggesting in any way that the online signatures are invalid.”

The campaign has nearly 200,000 in-person signatures, Thomas said. He has until early October to submit them, before the first signatures start to expire.

In June, a Michigan judge gave the campaign an additional 69 days on top of the normal 180 days for signatures to be valid, which is the length of Michigan’s stay-at-home order.

As the ballot initiative pushes for a vote in 2022, Fair and Equal Michigan is hoping for faster action. If the group can demonstrate statewide support, Thomas believes the legislature could take it up and pass it in a lame session after the November election or in January with the new legislature.

The campaign received support from more than 20 major Michigan organizations and companies, including Dow, the Big Three automakers, Kellogg Company, the two major energy suppliers, the Michigan Education Association and Whirlpool.

COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS

In addition to washing your hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone can carry the virus.

Health officials say you should stay at least 6 feet from others and work from home, if possible.

Use disinfectant wipes Where disinfectant spray cleaners on frequently touched surfaces in your home (doorknobs, faucets, counters) and take hand sanitizer with you when you go to places like stores.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also issued an executive order requiring people to wear face covering on the mouth and nose inside closed public spaces.

Further information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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