The Detroit Regional Chamber joined a host of statewide business leaders in signing on to a memo advocating for amendments to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. View the full letter and list of fellow signers below.
To: Members of the Michigan Legislature
From: Michigan’s Business Community
Date: January 23, 2023
Re: Amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity
As a partner in moving Michigan’s economy forward, we, the undersigned business leaders urge your support of amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. Our members agree.
Michigan’s ELCRA is an act to define civil rights; to prohibit discriminatory practices, policies, and customs in the exercise of those rights based upon religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status.
Rouch World v. MDCR, decided by the Michigan Supreme Court last July, found that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity constitutes a violation of ELCRA. We believe the time has come to recognize and codify this decision in statute and prohibit discrimination on these grounds, thereby sending the message that we are open to business for all.
This is a business issue. A highly talented and diverse workforce is key to moving our state forward. Attracting and retaining a skilled workforce goes beyond competitive wages and benefits. More and more individuals seek communities and states that value diversity and inclusion. Over 70% of young Michiganders say that a state’s social policies impact their decision to accept employment. This amendment supports Michigan businesses as they compete for the best and the brightest talent and retain our local graduates.
Updating the ELCRA is the right thing to do, the smart thing to do, and it is time to do it.
Right: Everyone in Michigan, whatever race, gender, religion, physical characteristic, sexual orientation, or gender identity deserves protection from discrimination under the law.
Smart: Michigan’s continued economic growth relies on keeping and attracting talent.
Time: This amendment is long overdue, and research shows an overwhelming, bipartisan number of Michigan residents believe this needs to change. We agree.
Please take action to amend the ELCRA and support a thriving and prosperous Michigan for ALL.
cc: The Honorable Gretchen Whitmer, Governor, State of Michigan
The growing list businesses that have signed on includes:
- 8ThirtyFour Integrated Communications
- Atomic Object
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
- Business Leaders of Michigan
- Camp Blodgett
- Cherry Health
- Cherry Republic
- Consumers Energy
- Corewell Health
- Detroit Regional Chamber
- Discovery Center and Pier
- Experience Grand Rapids
- Feyen Zylstra
- Ford Motor Company
- General Motors
- Grand Rapids Chamber
- Grand Traverse Community Foundation
- Habitat for Humanity of Kent County
- Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation
- Housing North
- Interlochen Center for the Arts
- Kelly Services
- Mitten Brewing
- Northwestern Michigan College
- Oh, Hello Companies
- Priority Health
- Pure Architects
- Rare Bird Brew Pub
- Rock Family of Companies
- Rotary Charities
- Sara Lee Frozen Bakery
- SEEDS Ecology and Education
- Southwest Michigan First
- The Rapid
- The Right Place
- Traverse City DDA
- Traverse City Tourism
- Traverse Connect
- University of Michigan Health-West
- Wacker Chemical