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Despite Calls From Businesses, GOP Leaders Still Lukewarm On LGBT Protections

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Some major Michigan businesses are urging lawmakers to add protections for LGBT residents to the state’s civil rights law.

But as The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, that doesn’t seem to be changing Republican leaders’ tune on the issue.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, AT&T, and several other businesses say it’s time for Michigan to make it illegal to fire someone or deny them housing because of their sexual orientation. They say that makes it harder to attract talent.

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says it’s not OK that people can lose their jobs if they’re gay. But he says lawmakers also can’t forget about people with religious beliefs.

“There are other people that need protection, too,” he says.  “We need to take a look at all people, not just one group. That’s what we do, we try to do it the right way and not just do it quickly just to get it done.”

A spokesperson for state House Speaker Jase Bolger says he’s been looking for ways to balance the rights of LGBT and religious residents – but hasn’t yet found a way to do that.

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