Michigan’s departing governor is looking out for his LGBTQ constituents.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is trying to stop discrimination against LGBTQ citizens of the state. Snyder signed a directive on Friday to bar state contractors and people who receive state grants/loans from discriminating against their employees because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Specifically, old contracts and new ones have to be amended to include language stating an anti-discrimination policy.
Snyder is set to step down from office on Tuesday (January 1), but wanted to get a few directives and orders into state law before he left. This anti-discrimination directive is one of those orders.
According to the Associated Press, Snyder wants to leave out as a great leader who is welcoming to all people across the state.
“Michigan’s continued reinvention and economic growth depend on talented individuals choosing to live and work here,” Snyder wrote in the directive. “It is essential for state government to be a leader in welcoming all people to our state and ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and with respect.”
That said, this directive isn’t a total homerun for the exiting governor. Civil service rules already prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ state employees. This directive though is focused on the private sector. It aims at assuring that any companies seeking contracts or grants don't think they're exempt from anti-discrimination.
On top of that, religious organizations are actually exempt from these anti-discrimination rules because of their “religious freedom” rights.
Despite this "last hurrah" effort at equality by Snyder, Democrats and liberals are looking forward to Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer taking over the position.
"We look forward to working with the new administration to maybe fix the problems in this executive order that (Snyder) created by having this exemption in it," said Jay Kaplan of the ACLU of Michican’s LGBT Project to Detroit News.