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Michigan looks to lure out-of-state workers with ads touting LGBTQ and reproductive rights

Text that reads "In Michigan, all are welcome. Discover the benefits of living in a state that protects your rights. Michigan" To the right is an image of two women, most likely a couple in a boat.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is using the state's new laws protecting abortion and LGBTQ rights as a business attraction tool.

The MEDC has placed digital ads in six Republican-led states in an effort to poach businesses and workers with a message on protecting personal rights.

The Michigan Constitution explicitly protects reproductive rights under an amendment adopted by voters last year.

“These digital ads are running in target markets all about promoting people and personal rights here in Michigan,” MEDC Communications Director Courtney Overbey Martinez said.

“Efforts like these are part of a concerted effort to attract both talent and businesses to Michigan by highlighting both the business-friendly environment and one that protects people’s rights and freedoms.”

The ads were placed in Indiana, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Tennessee. Michigan lagged behind those states in population growth in the most recent U.S. Census. The MEDC also hopes the ads will help Michigan hit Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s population growth goals.

The initial buy cost the MEDC $30,000, which is small change compared to many of the state’s other business incentives.

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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