Governor Jennifer Granholm has signed an executive directive banning discrimination in state employment based on "gender identity or expression." The directive protects nearly 50,000 state employees in Michigan's Executive branch, which encompasses 95% of all state employees.
The Directive will protect not only transgender workers, but any state employee who faces discrimination because they do not conform to traditional gender norms in their behavior and/or appearance. This includes unfair treatment of state employees based on masculinity or femininity.
"This just shows that the State of Michigan is moving in the right direction in regards to state employees," said Michelle Fox-Phillips, executive director of Transgender Detroit. "Our sincere thanks to Triangle Foundation for their hard work [on this issue] over the years."
"We applaud Governor Granholm's executive directive prohibiting discrimination in state employment on the basis of gender identity/expression," said Kara S. Suffredini, state legislative director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "During her second inaugural address, the governor spoke about the 'Next Michigan,' one of 'transformation and opportunity.' Today's directive brings Michigan one step closer to that vision."
"Triangle Foundation is very proud of our advocacy for this essential change in state policy, and we applaud the willingness by the Governor to make it so," said Sean Kosofsky, Director of Policy for Triangle Foundation. "We are confident that our Governor's example will help to bring about fair and inclusive employment practices in the private sector, as well as help move the state legislature to finally amend the state's civil rights law, the Elliott-Larsen Act, to fully protect against discrimination based on both gender identity and sexual orientation. The legislature has blocked fairness for far too long."