Michigan’s largest employers lend their support to campaign to ban LGBTQ discrimination

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Flagstar Bank, Google, Jackson, Kellogg Company, Kelly and Superbia join list of businesses leading the push to ensure all Michiganders have equal chance to succeed

LANSING, MI – Fair and Equal Michigan’s campaign to ban LGBTQ discrimination in Michigan gains more momentum as eight more businesses add their voice to encouraging the amendment of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights act to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Businesses announcing their support include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Flagstar Bank, Google, Jackson, Kellogg Company, Kelly Services and Superbia Services. The announcement comes on the heels of Fair and Equal Michigan switching to an electronic signature collection strategy and picking up the endorsement of Detroit’s “Big Three” auto manufacturers earlier this month. You can sign the electronic petition: www.FairAndEqualMichigan.com.

“Michigan’s business and community leaders are making it clear that discrimination against LGBTQ individuals is wrong and must be banned under Michigan law,” said Fair and Equal Michigan Co-Chair Trevor Thomas. “We are confident that our new electronic signature strategy combined with this snowballing support will keep us on track to collect the more than 340,000 signatures needed to put this issue in front of legislators. If they do not, then it’s clear there is a broad base of support to get the job done in November.”

“Modern organizations require talented workers who reflect the diverse communities they serve,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan CEO Daniel Loepp. “By adding LGBTQ people to Michigan’s civil rights protections, we can ensure that we are a more welcoming state for all.”

“The fight to gain equal rights for the LGBTQ community in Michigan reminds me of a long-ago quote from Roy Roberts of Navistar and GM. He said, ‘American business has been fighting a global war, but leaving half its army—minorities and women—at home,’” said Flagstar Bank President and CEO Alessandro P. DiNello. “That was in 1989, and we still don’t have our full army on the field. It’s beyond the time to act and do the right thing. Why would we not?”

"Google celebrates the full diversity of our users and employees no matter who they are, who they love and where they come from. It's this diversity and representation that allows us to truly build technologies, products, and features for everyone. We support efforts to strengthen Michigan's non-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and are confident that Michigan will continue to grow economically when all have an equal seat at the table,” said Rob Biederman, Head of Midwest Government Affairs, Google.

“Jackson is proud to support fair and equal treatment of the LGBTQ community across Michigan, especially our valued associates who are members and allies of the community,” said Jackson Senior Vice President and General Counsel Drew Bowden.

“At Kellogg, we firmly believe in equity and inclusion in the workplace, marketplace and in the communities where we work and live. We have long been allies and supporters of LGBTQ employees, their families and the community, and are proud to support Fair and Equal Michigan’s campaign to ban LGBTQ discrimination,” said Kellogg Company CEO, Steve Cahillane.

“At Kelly, we take seriously our responsibilities to protect, support and prepare employees for successful careers, and to advocate on their behalf,” said Kelly President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Quigley. “We believe in opportunity for all and are steadfast in our commitment to equal employment opportunity and the protection of human rights.”

“Superbia Services Inc. stands in solidarity with the Fair and Equal Michigan Coalition’s efforts to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and ensure that Michigan joins the states across America that constitutionally guarantees dignity and respect for all,” said Myles Meyers, Founder and CEO of Superbia Services Inc. “The core of Superbia’s mission is to celebrate the very diversity that makes individuals uniquely themselves, including and especially sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. We will remain unwavering in our support of the fight for equality for Michiganders and all Americans.”

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign launched on January 7 with business backing that included Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, Dow, Herman Miller and Whirlpool. Since then, Rock Holdings, the parent company of Quicken Loans, announced its “unequivocal” endorsement of adding LGBTQ protections to the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act. On April 15, the campaign announced the backing of Michigan’s “Big Three” auto manufacturers. It has been endorsed by the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Chamber, Michigan Dental Association, League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women and State Employees Retiree Association.

The full list of Michigan businesses to endorse the Fair and Equal Michigan campaign is listed below. Together, these businesses employ more than 100,000 people in Michigan alone.

  • Apple
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Consumers Energy
  • Dow
  • DTE Energy
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Flagstar Bank
  • General Motors
  • Google
  • Herman Miller
  • Kellogg Company
  • Kelly
  • Jackson
  • Rock Holdings
  • Superbia Services
  • Whirlpool

Fair and Equal Michigan is seeking to amend the state Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The Act already protects individuals against discrimination in employment, public accommodation and housing based on 10 factors, including age, race, sex, and religion. The Fair and Equal Michigan initiative would amend the current law by defining “sex” as including “gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.” It would also define “religion” as including “the religious beliefs of an individual.”

Once Fair and Equal Michigan collects the 340,047 valid signatures required, the Michigan Legislature will have 40 days to adopt the proposed amendments to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act without change. If the Legislature does not act, or rejects the proposal, it will be submitted to Michigan voters for approval on the November 3, 2020, General Election ballot