Michigan’s outgoing governor signs an LGBTQ workplace protection directive into law before leaving office

Ted Eytan via Flickr

Rick Synder ends his term on a high note, despite previous battle with the LGBTQ community.

The outgoing governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, has signed a piece of pro-LGBTQ legislation into law just days before leaving office. Snyder, a Republican, will be replaced by the Democrat Gretchen Whitmer on January 1.

The legislation that Snyder signed means that companies that are seeking funding, loans or other contracts will not be allowed to discriminate against their LGBTQ employees, meaning someone can not be fired from their job for their sexuality or gender identity.

Snyder announced the directive yesterday, and had signed it into effect the day before. In the directive, he wrote: “Michigan’s continued reinvention and economic growth depend on talented individuals choosing to live and work here.

“It is essential for state government to be a leader in welcoming all people to our state and ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and with respect.”

The only companies that are exempt from the directive are the state’s Attorney General and Secretary of State’s offices, although both have been encouraged to comply with the directive anyway.

It’s hard to imagine that the Attorney General’s office will discriminate against the LGBTQ community, as Dana Kessel, the incoming Attorney General, will be the state’s first openly LGBTQ elected official.

Although Snyder has sometimes been progressive when it comes to exempting LGBTQ people from discrimination, even pushing for the Civil Rights Act 1976 to include anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ citizens, he has had battles with the community in the past.

Snyder signed into law a bill which allowed faith-based agencies to refuse a same-sex couple from adopting if it went against their religious beliefs in 2015, and he also fought to prevent same-sex marriage from coming into effect in Michigan.

Related: Democrats plans to ban LGBTQ discrimination across America if they win the mid-term elections



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