Michigan LGBT Ballot Initiative May Be Abandoned
A group of political leaders and civic activists might abandon plans to seek a statewide vote on a ballot issue that if approved, would prohibit specific types of discrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgender residents. It isn’t that they have lost interest. Rather, they’re now looking over Monday’s US Supreme Court ruling that essentially outlaws bias against LGBT Americans. So the need for a statewide vote in Michigan may not be needed. The issue is how far-reaching the Supreme Court ruling will be interpreted. The High Court’s ruling does not specifically address discrimination in housing or the use of public facilities. The ruling does say a 1964 federal law that bars job discrimination due to sex covers LGBT Americans.
The supporters of the state petition drive have run into problems getting the required minimum number of valid signatures. A recent Michigan Court of Claims ruling gives them more time to get signatures but does not reduce the number needed. That time frame puts the drive timetable out of reach for this November and would put it on state ballots next year if it is approved by state elections administrators.