WASHINGTON, D.C. — (12-10-20) — Outrage over Michigan Judge Christopher Murray’s ruling on Monday that allows companies to discriminate against LGBT customers.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, the first openly LGBT person to be elected to a statewide office in Michigan, said that she plans to appeal Monday’s court ruling that found Michigan’s civil rights laws does not protect against discrimination based sexual orientation.

“We intend to submit that all Michigan residents are entitled to protection under the law – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation – in our appeal to this decision,” said AG Dana Nessel.

Judge Murray ruled on that Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), which bans discrimination on the basis of sex, did not ban discrimination against sexual orientation.

Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act states that discrimination based on “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status” is illegal.

The decision from Judge Murray came after two Michigan businesses argued that laws in the state did not prevent them from refusing service to LGBT customers.

Nessel stated that she planned to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals and possibly even to the Michigan Supreme Court if the Court of Appeals rules similarly.

The two cases involved Rouch World, a wedding venue, and Uprooted Electrolysis, a hair removal business.

Rouch World refused to host a same-sex wedding in 2019 and Uprooted Electrolysis refused service to a transgender woman, both claiming it went against their religious beliefs.

“I respectfully disagree with the Michigan Court of Claims on its ruling in this case as it relates to sexual orientation,” said Nessel.

“Michigan courts have held that federal precedent is highly persuasive when determining the contours of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, and federal courts across the country – including the U.S. Supreme Court in Bostock v Clayton Co – have held that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination,” Nessel added.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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