Business Leaders for Michigan Political Action Committee contributes $100,000 to Fair and Equal Michigan

July 20, 2020
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Executive leadership roundtable takes action to push forward citizens’ initiative enacting state law protections for LGBTQ Michiganders

LANSING, Mich. – The Business Leaders for Michigan Political Action Committee II (PAC II) today announced a contribution of $100,000 to Fair and Equal Michigan, the citizens’ initiative to amend the state Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Many other states have these protections already enshrined into law.

“A state that allows discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender will never be a Top Ten state,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “Our strategic plan has encouraged action on this issue for years, but words aren’t enough. We are behind other states and nations in codifying these protections into law, and so we’re stepping up with more action.”

Patti Poppe, President & CEO of CMS Energy and Consumers Energy and PAC co-chair, said: “There is more we can do as a state to demonstrate that Michigan is a state accepting of ALL residents. Anyone who wants to make Michigan their home – to start or continue a career, grow their family, or move to our state simply to enjoy our bountiful natural resources – they need to know they will be welcomed and treated with equality under the law.”

“Dow has more than 120 years of history in Michigan and wants to continue to recruit and retain the best talent to live and work in our home state,” said Dow President & CFO Howard Ungerleider, also a PAC co-chair. “We are working hard to make Dow a safe, inclusive and supportive workplace for all employees and many large corporations are taking similar efforts. But we need the same protections in place afforded to workers in all businesses across our state – large and small, public and private. Until that’s enshrined into law, we have work to do.”

Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act already protects individuals against discrimination in employment, public accommodation and housing based on 10 factors, including age, race, sex, and religion. The Fair and Equal Michigan initiative would amend the current law by defining “sex” as including “gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.” It would also define “religion” as including “the religious beliefs of an individual.”

The Business Leaders for Michigan PAC receives contributions from current Board members to support measures and candidates that align with the policy goals in the strategic plan to make Michigan a Top Ten state for jobs, income and a healthy economy. Specifically, Business Leaders for Michigan has a long-standing position that discrimination should be prohibited based on sexual orientation and gender identity, like we do for race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, or disability.

About Business Leaders for Michigan:

Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. The organization is composed exclusively of the executive leaders of Michigan’s largest companies and universities. Our members drive nearly 40 percent of the state’s economy, generate over $1 trillion in annual revenue and educate nearly half of all Michigan public university students. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.