Michigan AG takes fight to Supreme Court for LGBTQ rights under the law

State Attorney General Dana Nessel argued on behalf of the LGBTQ community and their families for equal treatment in Michigan before the Supreme Court.

Currently, it is arguably legal to discriminate on the basis of one's sexual orientation.  But that could change - based on the meaning of sex. And in a first, a discussion about sex- was held before Michigan's Supreme Court.  

"The Supreme Court has never actually issued a ruling on this matter," Nessel said.

Nessel, argued the word "sex" as used in the Elliot Larson Civil Rights Act prohibits, not only gender discrimination but discrimination based on one's sexual orientation.  

"The word sex as it appears in Elliot Larson that LGBT people will be included," she said.

In 2019 Rouch World - an event center in Sturgis- didn't want to host a same-sex wedding because it conflicted with the owner's religion.

But Nessel said the 1976 law preventing discrimination based on sex, should be interpreted broadly.  

"We think it's time for the hundreds of thousands of people who identify as LGBT who live in this state, finally are entitled to equal protection - and equal treatment, under the law," she said.

David Kallman, the attorney for the Rouch Event Center argued that if the legislature wanted to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, they certainly could have done it, but the legislature didn't do it.  

Also, he added if the LGBTQ community wanted to change the law, they could've done it by a petition drive, and they didn't.  And finally, he said one's religious rights should be given consideration. 

The Michigan Supreme Court heard oral arguments today - and a formal written opinion- clarifying sex- is expected sometime later this year.