As reported by The Detroit Free Press, after more than two hours of impassioned testimony from more than 50 people, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission declined a request to reinterpret the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for the LGBT community.
The commission's mission is to investigate complaints of discrimination and to re-interpret the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act.
The LGBT rights group Equality Michigan had asked the commission to clarify the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act. The Act prohibits discrimination in hiring and housing based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status.
The group wanted to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In considering the request, the Commission sought Ron Robinson's advice who is assistant in the Attorney General's Office. He stated that the reinterpretation of the Act was the business of the Legislative Assembly.
Republican State Senator Patrick Colbeck also said that it was up to lawmakers to make or change laws.
So the Committee decided to refuse to reinterpret the act.
"We’re not here to expand law; it is not within our purview," Commissioner Linda Lee Tarver said.
In the past, some senators have passed a bill to expand the Civil Rights Act and include the prohibition of discrimination on sexual orientation. The bill was then blocked by the Republicans in the House and Senate.