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LGBT Rights Debate To Pit LGB Against T

A debate is shaping up in the Michigan House on whether Michigan’s civil rights law should be expanded to protect gays, lesbians, and bisexuals from discrimination.

As we hear from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta, there’s also a fight brewing on whether those protections should extent to transgender people.

Republican state Representative Frank Foster says adding lesbians, gays, and bisexuals – even without transgender people -- to the civil rights law would be progress.

“Not everyone is perfectly happy, but I think we’re still moving an issue forward that’s been a long time in the making,” he says.

Democrats like state Representative Sam Singh and many LGBT advocates say a partial bill would not be enough.

“If they move forward with something that’s not full inclusive, they’re telling the rest of the country that this state is not open to business, to all individuals,” he says.

They’re also opposed to creating religious exceptions in the law. They say better to kill this package and work, instead, to put the question on the statewide ballot in 2016.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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