ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – There’s a town hall meeting Wednesday in Ann Arbor to encourage Michigan to adopt an anti-gay discrimination policy.
Roland Leggett of Equality Michigan said it is illegal in the state to discriminate against workers over age, weight and gender.
But the current Michigan law does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, leaving many at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because they are gay or transgender.
“That means if your boss thinks you’re gay, it’s perfectly legal for them to fire you… because they don’t agree with who you choose to love,” Leggett said. “So, you can be denied housing for that reason too. You can be denied entrance into public space. So that means you can be kicked out of a movie theater or you can be kicked out of a mall.”
Leggett believes such a law is needed now more than ever.
“Over more than half of Fortune 500 companies have human resource policies or hiring policies that protect folks that are gay or transgender from being discriminated against. So, if we’re talking about running Michigan more like a business, if we’re talking about attracting top talent and top business, then we need to start also reflecting the values of the businesses that we’re trying to attract,” Leggett said.
The meeting is part of the organization’s Equality Action Tour, which focuses on engaging in two-way communication with communities to build strength in support of pro-equality change.
The town hall meeting takes place June 1 from 1:00 to 7:00 pm at the Arbor Brewing Company, 114 East Washington.
The event is free and open to the public. Local activists, members of faith communities, community leaders, elected officials, students and individuals interested in learning more are encouraged to attend.