As of today, the Michigan State House and State Senate have both passed bills that openly discriminate against Michiganders. Targeted towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community (LGBT), HB 4770 and HB 4771 are headed to Governor Rick Snyder. It is likely, though sad, that he will pass these bills.
If you didn’t know, HB 4770 and 4771 will disallow the State of Michigan and any governmental agency from providing domestic partner benefits to unmarried couples, specifically those who are in same-sex and same-gender relationships. The bill was sponsored by Dave Agema (R-Granville) and supported by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
Furthering the discrimination, Rochester Hills Republican Tom McMillan has introduced legislation that would bar cities from having local ordinances preventing discrimination around sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Not only is this a furthering of hatred against the LGBT community, it is also a direct overstep by the state government against local government.
Sadly, this update comes on Spirit Day:
“Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Getting involved is easy — participants are asked to simply “go purple” on October 20 as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.”
If you’re reading this, please make it a point to speak out against this discrimination. It’s so much more than benefits. It’s toxic and it’s hatred, creating an atmosphere where hundreds of thousands of Michiganders cannot feel safe in their own homes, places of work, and education. It is psychologically and physically harmful and just plain wrong.