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Michigan Civil Rights Commission reviews trans youth rights under Elliot-Larsen Act

The image shows a close-up of a transgender flag. The flag is pink, light blue, and white, with five horizontal stripes. The pink and light blue stripes are on the outside, and the white stripes are in the middle. The flag is often used as a symbol of transgender pride and identity.
Transgender Pride Flag

The state civil rights commission is looking into whether Michigan’s civil rights laws protect trans and nonbinary young people. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is seeking a legal opinion on whether the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act protects young people from facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

On Monday, commissioners voted unanimously for the legal interpretation. Luke Londo, a member of the commission, brought the motion forward.

He says right now the law is unclear on whether it allows trans and nonbinary youth from using pronouns and bathrooms that match their gender identity.

“Whether or not the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act is inclusive of making sure that our K through 12 students are being addressed by the pronouns that they prefer, as well as the names that they prefer, especially for our transgender students," he said.

Londo says once they receive the legal interpretation the commission will be able to better understand how to protect the rights of young people in the state.

Earlier this year, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a legislation codifying LGBTQ protections into the state’s civil rights law. Currently, Michigan's Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act outlaws discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and education on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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