Detroit Regional Chamber > Press Releases > Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Support of Fair and Equal Michigan

Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Support of Fair and Equal Michigan

October 7, 2020

Chamber takes action to push forward citizens’ initiative enacting state protections for LGBTQ Michiganders

DETROIT (October 7, 2020) – The Detroit Regional Chamber announced today the endorsement of Fair and Equal Michigan, the citizens’ initiative to amend the state Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

“Amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act is an important step to eliminating barriers to retaining and attracting top talent to our state, and we are pleased to endorse Fair and Equal Michigan,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The Chamber has long supported amending the state’s civil rights law. It will better position our state to create jobs and accelerate economic growth, particularly as we deal with the impact of COVID-19 over the next decade.”

The Chamber supports pro-business public policies that allow for economic growth, including a robust talent market that meets the needs of employers. After careful consideration, the Chamber’s Executive Committee made the endorsement based on input from members.

“Even with the recent Supreme Court ruling, LGTBQ Michiganders still do not have full equality in local employment, housing and public accommodations,” said Fair and Equal Michigan Co-Chair Trevor Thomas. “Chambers across the state understand that we must do everything we can to make Michigan a welcoming place for top talent, and that includes amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect LGBTQ people. We are proud to have the support of the Detroit Regional Chamber in our effort to move this citizen’s initiative forward and ensure every Michigander has an equal chance to succeed.” Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. As the voice for business in the 11-county Southeast Michigan region, the Chamber’s mission is carried out through creating a business-friendly climate and value for members, leading a robust economic development strategy, and convening Michigan’s most influential audience at the nationally unique Mackinac Policy Conference.

Beyond the support from the Chamber, Fair and Equal Michigan received statements of support or contributions from more than 25 major Michigan organizations including: AFL-CIO, Apple, Business Leaders for Michigan, Bells Brewing, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Carpenters and Joiners of America, Consumers Energy, Delta Dental, Dominos, Dow, DTE Energy, Equality Michigan Action, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Flagstar Bank, Ford, Founders Brewing, General Motors, GLAAD, Google, Hemlock Semiconductor, Herman Miller, Kellogg Company, Kelly Services, Jackson National Life, Michigan Education Association, Masco, National Organization for Women, Pfizer, Rock Holdings, TCF Bank.

Fair and Equal Michigan was recently granted an extension of its original May 27 signature collection deadline by Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign now has until October to collect the 347,040 valid petition signatures required to move its citizen’s bill in front of the state legislature. If the legislature does not approve Fair and Equal Michigan’s amendment, the issue will go on the state’s November 2022 election ballot. Learn more at