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ADDED ON: 12/15/2020

Civil Rights News: Judge Rules Companies Don’t Have To Serve Gay Customers, Attorney General Appeals

12/13/2020 | International Business Times

Michigan’s attorney general is appealing Monday’s ruling by a state judge that businesses can choose to not serve customers based on sexual orientation if on religious grounds. Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a press release that she is starting the appeal process on the basis of discrimination after Judge Christopher M. Murray ruled that the state’s definitive anti-discrimination law, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976, doesn’t include sexual orientation protections, though Murray did rule it protects gender identity. “I respectfully disagree with the Michigan Court of Claims on its ruling in this case as it relates to sexual orientation,” Nessel said. “Michigan courts have held that federal precedent is highly persuasive when determining the contours of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, and federal courts across the country – including the U.S. Supreme Court in Bostock v Clayton Co – have held that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination. We intend to submit that all Michigan residents are entitled to protection under the law – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation – in our appeal to this decision.” Murray’s ruling came after two separate Michigan companies — an event center and a permanent hair removal company for women — denied their services to a same-sex couple and a transgender person.

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