Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan AFL-CIO backs LGBTQ rights push in local governments

By: - June 27, 2019 3:46 pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had Pride flags hoisted on the Romney Building for the first time | Susan J. Demas

Updated, 12:03 p.m. 6/29/19 with additional communities that passed measures

One of the state’s largest labor unions has encouraged local governments to formally recognize Pride Month during June.

The Michigan AFL-CIO said in a statement that it backed efforts in almost two dozen communities around the state to pass resolutions or sign proclamations officially declaring June as LGBTQ Pride Month. 

The labor federation with about 1 million members around the state notes that it recently adopted its own policy platform to call on the state to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), something the GOP-led Legislature has failed to do. The law would protect LGBTQ people from being fired from jobs and denied access to housing based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Municipalities that formally adopted Pride Month resolutions include Eastpointe, Munising, Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Calhoun County in South-central Michigan.* 

Ron Bieber

“We started June by proudly standing with Governor [Gretchen] Whitmer and state lawmakers supporting expansion of civil rights protections for all working people. While we continue to fight to include these protections in our workplace contracts, we believe the best solution is to pass legislation to protect the freedoms of working people across not only Michigan, but the entire country,” Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber said in a statement. 

“We are happy to see so many communities celebrating Pride Month and supporting the LGBTQ Community,” he continued. “Hopefully some reluctant members of the legislature will get the message that the time has come to expand the ELCRA.”

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Nick Manes
Nick Manes

Nick Manes is a former Michigan Advance reporter, covering West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels.