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MICHIGAN

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Ageing, Bioethics, Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HIV, Aids]
1.

State

On 20 April 2018, it was reported that the six-day-old daughter of Jami and Krista Contreras was denied doctor's care because of their sexual orientation [R1.2].

On 04 December 2014, the House of Assembly passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (HB 5958) so broadly written as to allow, for example, an Emergency Medical Technician to refuse emergency treatment to a gay person or a pharmacist to refuse to refill HIV medication if it conflicted with their religious beliefs. The Bill has yet to pass the Senate and be signed into law by the Governor [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 12 November 2014, U.S. District Court Judge David M Lawson found that the law that would have barred many public entities from providing health insurance to the domestic partners of their employees was discriminatory and unconstitutional [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.2 Attitude: Lesbian Couple's Daughter Denied Doctor Care Because of Their Sexual Orientation 20 APR 18
R1.1 LogoTV: Michigan House Passed Bill Allowing EMTs To Refuse Treatment To Gay People 08 DEC 14
C2.2 Opinion and Order Theresa Bassett, et al. v. Richard Snyder No. 12-10038 PDF 108.34kb, 12 NOV 14
R2.1 ACLU: Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan Domestic Partner Health Care Ban 12 NOV 14
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Under Michigan law, the only people who can petition for custody are biological parents or the husband of the biological mother if the child was born during their marriage.

An adoptive parent – biological or nonbiological – also may petition for custody, but the only people who may adopt in Michigan are married couples and single individuals, either gay or straight [R2.3].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 02 August 2016, the State Supreme Court denied the applications for leave to appeal in two cases where Deanna Mabry and Rola Kolailat sought parental rights, arguing that as gay marriage is now legal, they should get the associated benefits retroactively - even if relationships with their partners are over. The Court ruled 5-2 that they have no rights under state law because they're not the biological mothers and the children weren't born during a marriage [C2.12], [C2.11], [R2.10].

On 11 September 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court remanded the Jennifer Stankevich v. Leann Milliron child custody and visitation case to the Court of Appeals for reconsideration of its dismissal in the light of the US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges [C2.9], [R2.8].

On 17 October 2013, the Court of Appeals upheld the Dickinson Circuit Court judgment that dismissed the lawsuit of Jennifer Stankevich, seeking child custody and other rights relating to the biological child of her ex-partner Leanne Milliron, on the ground that she had no standing to bring the action [C2.7], [R2.6].


On 22 July 2011, the Court of Appeals denied 4–3 the application of Renee Harmon for leave to appeal the ruling refusing a right to custody, leaving standing the lower court ruling that she lacked standing [C2.5], [R2.4].

Previously:

In March 2010, Renee Harmon was seeking an order in Wayne County for custody and visitation rights to her children, who were about 9 and twin 6 year olds when she broke up with her partner, Tammy Davis in 2008. Davis carried the artificially inseminated children because she was younger [R2.3].


In February 2009, the Michigan State Court of Appeals ruled that a family court cannot refuse to hear a child custody case because it involves children whose parents are lesbians [R2.2].


In July 2002, custody has reportedly been denied to gay parents because they were said to have chosen a same-sex relationship over their kids' well-being [R2.1].

C2.12 Order: Rola Kolailat v. Lindsey McKennett No. 153075 PDF 45.53kb 02 AUG 15
C2.11 Order: Deanna D Mabry v. Johanna Suzanne-Graine Mabry No. 153082 PDF 65.00kb 02 AUG 15
R2.10 DesmoinesRegister: Top Michigan court rejects appeals in same-sex custody cases 03 AUG 16
C2.9 Order: Jennifer Stankevich aka Jennifer Milliron v. Leanne Milliron No. 148097 PDF 45.62kb 11 SEP 15
R2.8 PrideSource: Michigan Supreme Court Orders Reconsideration Of Custody Case Involving Lesbian Parents 12 SEP 15
C2.7 Opinion: Jennifer Stankevich aka Jennifer Milliron v. Leanne Milliron No. 310710 PDF 20.81kb, 17 OCT 13
R2.6 EdgeOnTheNet: Woman Denied Rights in Same-Sex Custody Dispute 22 OCT 13
C2.5 Order: Harmon v. Davis Docket No 297968, PDF 46.54kb, 22 JUL 11
R2.4 Interlochen Public Radio: No Custody Rights In Michigan For Same-Sex Partners 26 JUL 11
R2.3 OnClick Detroit: Gay Couple Embarks On Custody Battle 23 MAR 10
R2.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Victory for lesbian mother after Michigan court refused to hear custody case 23 FEB 09
R2.1 Idaho Stateman: Judge Gives Gay Dad Ultimatum'' 11 JUL 02
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [INHERITANCE] [MARRIAGE] [PROPERTY]
1.

State

On 14 December 2015, Attorney Jeffrey D Koelzer discusses situations in which same-sex couples might benefit from a prenuptial agreement [R1.11].

On 22 December 2011, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation under which employers are barred from providing health care benefits to municipal and school employees, and to both same-sex and straight couples. Employees of the state public universities or state government employees are excepted [R1.10].

On 07 December 2011, the Senate voted 27–9, passing HB 4770 which would prohibit some public employers from extending health benefits to unmarried partners of employees, whether they are of the same sex or opposite sex. It would apply to public schools, local governments and some state employees. H.B. 4771, which prohibits collective bargaining for partner benefits for state entitites, also passed [L1.9], [L1.8], [R1.7].

On 15 September 2011, the House of Representatives voted 55–53 to prohibit public employers in the state – such as cities, counties, school districts, public universities, and the state itself – from offering domestic-partner benefits [R1.6].

Previously:

On 14 April 2011, a resolution that would reject the extension of benefits to same-sex partners or other adults living with some state employees did not get enough votes to pass with the required two-thirds majority in the House. The measure got 66 votes – eight short of the 74 needed [R1.5].

On 09 March 2011, the Senate passed a concurrent resolution overturning a Civil Service Commission ruling that allows unrelated adults living with a state employee and their children to receive state-paid health benefits. The measure now heads to the House [R1.4].

On 26 January 2011, the State Civil Service Commission voted 3–1 to extend health care benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees and their dependents – effective 01 October 2011 [R1.3].

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25 were to be included, but withdrew and members of the Michigan Corrections Organization, the Michigan State Employees Association, the Michigan State Police and the Civil Service Commission were not included [R1.2].

In May 2000, more than 100 Detroit-area Lutheran churches were apparently free to offer union ceremonies to bless same-sex couples [R1.1].

See also: 3. Courts & Tribunals

2.

Counties, Cities & Towns

On 24 August 2011, Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners voted 5–1 to rescind a motion previously approved by a 5–2 vote 10 August, that would have allowed domestic partners, regardless of their gender, to receive their partner's county health insurance benefits, similar to the health insurance rider established for spouses of county employees [R2.6].

In December 2010, East Lansing was expected to introduce health benefits for same-sex partners of city employees [R2.5].

In December 2001, after nearly six years of negotiations, confrontations and task force meetings, the Detroit City Council took the first step on Friday toward instituting domestic-partner benefits for city employees [R2.4].

By a vote of 7–2, the City Council approved the first of four amendments to the city code to provide for the recognition and registration of domestic partnerships that will lead to full medical, disability and death benefits for gay, lesbian and transgender people working for the city.

It also applies to opposite-sex domestic partners.

The council is expected to complete work on the proposed ordinances when members return from winter recess in January. At least three more ordinance changes need to be passed before domestic partners actually receive benefits.


Beginning March 2001, Washtenaw County gay and lesbian employees will receive spousal medical, dental, and optical benefits for their domestic partners [R2.3].


In June 2000 ,Kalamazoo and in 1995, Ann Arbor enabled gay employees to cover their partners under health benefits [R2.2].


In May 2000, more than 100 area Lutheran churches apparently were to be free to offer union ceremonies to bless same-sex couples [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 28 June 2013, US District Court Judge David Lawson found that a Michigan law clearly deprived same-sex couples of benefits in violation of equal protection rights in the US Constitution, and he blocked the law. The ruling does not automatically expand coverage for Michigan's same-sex couples, but allows public employers such as counties, cities or school districts to choose to do so [C3.9], [R3.8].

On 01 May 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected (7-1) a request by Attorney General Bill Schuette to reconsider a Court of Appeals decision (in Attorney-General v. Civil Service Commission & Ors) allowing same-sex domestic partnership benefits for state employees [R3.7].

On 08 January 2013, in a 2–1 decision, the Court of Appeals upheld a policy from the Michigan Civil Service Commission which grants healthcare benefits to same-sex partners of state employees. The ruling will likely be appealed [C3.6], [C3.5], [R3.4].

On 24 March 2012, the Supreme Court reportedly would not hear a challenge to benefits that cover the live-in partners of state employees, forcing Attorney General Bill Schuette to argue the case in the state Court of Appeals first [R3.3].

On 06 May 2011, Attorney General Bill Schuette filed suit in Ingham County Circuit Court against the state Civil Service Commission to block the agency's decision to provide domestic partner benefits to thousands of state employees [R3.2].

In December 1998, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the rights of unmarried couples are protected under the state Civil Rights Act. The case marked the first time the court has addressed whether unmarried couples have a civil right to housing [R3.1].

R1.11 TheNationalLawReview: 14 DEC 15
R1.10 Detroit Free Press: No health care for domestic partners under Michigan law signed today by Snyder 22 DEC 11
L1.9 Michigan Legislature: HB4771: An act to prohibit strikes by certain public employees … PDF 32.09kb, 16 JUN 11
L1.8 Michigan Legislature: HB4770: Public employee domestic partner benefit restriction act PDF 22.69kb, 15 SEP 11
R1.7 mLive.com: Michigan Senate bans domestic partner benefits 07 DEC 11
R1.6 The Advocate: Michigan House Says No to Partner Benefits 16 SEP 11
R1.5 Bloomberg Businessweek: Michigan House bid to reject worker benefits fails 14 APR 11
R1.4 The Detroit News: Michigan Senate knocks down same-sex benefits 10 MAR 11
R1.3 The North Wind: Same-sex couples should have benefits 10 FEB 11
R1.2 The Detroit News: State employees' same-sex partners to get health benefits 26 JAN 11
R1.1 Detroit Free Press: Gay Unions to Get Blesses from Detroit-area Lutheran Churches 24 MAY 00
R2.5 The News Herald: Same-sex benefits approved then resinded 31 AUG 11
R2.4 Lansing State Journal: East Lansing set to offer same-sex benefits 27 DEC 10
R2.3 Detroit Free Press: Domestic Partners Closer to Benefits' 01 DEC 01
R2.2 Planet Out: Washtenaw Co. MI's First to Give Benefit 18 DEC 00
R2.1 Detroit Free Press: Gay Unions to Get Blesses from Detroit-area Lutheran Churches 24 MAY 00
C3.9 Opinion and Order: Basset v. Snyder No. 12-10038 PDF 139.31kb, 28 JUN 13
R3.8 Reuters: Judge blocks Michigan ban on benefits for same-sex public workers 28 JUN 13
R3.7 MichiganLive: Same-sex benefits for state employees stand as Michigan Supreme Court rejects Schuette appeal request 02 MAY 13
C3.6 Opinion: Attorney-General v. Civil Service Commission &Ors No. 306685 PDF 27.66kb, 07 JAN 13
C3.5 Dissenting Opinion: Attorney-General v. Civil Service Commission &Ors No. 306685 PDF 12.12kb, 08 JAN 13
R3.4 PinkNews: Michigan court upholds policy allowing healthcare benefits to partners of gay state employees 09 JAN 13
R3.3 NPR: Supreme Court refuses domestic partner benefits challenge 24 MAR 12
R3.2 Detroit Free Press: Suit aims to halt same-sex benefits 07 MAY 11
R3.1 Lansing State Journal: Court: Unwed Couples Have Housing Rights 23 DEC 98
Defamation Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [VIOLENCE]
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 02 November 2015, the US Supreme Court rejected former Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell's attempt to appeal a defamation ruling against him for targeting a gay student body president Chris Armstrong at the University of Michigan, the former assistant attorney general's alma mater [C1.6], [R1.5].

On 02 February 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled Andrew Shirvell should not be granted a new trial in a defamation suit filed by a gay former University of Michigan student government president Christopher Armstrong however, the Court reduced the compensatory damages to $3.5 million [C1.4], [R1.3].

On 16 August 2012, a US District Court jury awarded Chris Armstrong $4.5 million in his defamation suit against former assistant state attorney general Andrew Shirvell [R1.2].

In September 1998, a Wayne County Circuit Court ruling found that the Triangle Foundation was defamed by State Representative Deborah Whyman in her 1996 campaign literature falsely stating that the Foundation supports "sex acts between grown men and boys." [R1.1].

C1.6 Order List: 577 U.S.: Certiorari Denied: Shirvell, Andrew L v. Armstrong, Christopher No. 15-226 PDF 104.40kb 02 NOV 15
R1.5 TheAdvocate: Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Antigay Harassing State Attorney 03 NOV 15
C1.4 Opinion: Christopher Armstrong v. Andrew L Shirvell No. 13-2368 PDF 104.40kb 294.79kb 02 FEB 15
R1.3 LGBTQnation: Appeals court rules against ex-Michigan state attorney in anti-gay defamation suit 02 FEB 15
R1.2 Washington Blade: Gay former University of Michigan student president wins harassment case 17 AUG 12
R1.1 Feedback: Michigan State Representative Guilty of Defamation 15 SEP 98
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 21 May 2018, the Civil Rights Commission reportedly voted 5-0 (1 abstention, 2 absent) to issue an interpretive statement saying that discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is a form of sex discrimination outlawed under the 1976 civil rights law. Complaints will be processed starting Tuesday [R1.2].

In April 2004, the Conscientious Objector Policy bill was passed by the House and would, if passed by the Senate and signed into law, allow health care workers to refuse service to anyone on moral, ethical or religious grounds and to assert their objection within 24 hours of when they receive notice of a patient or procedure with which they don't agree. However, it would prohibit emergency treatment to be refused [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

On 16 March 2015, the East Grand Rapids City Commission voted unanimously in favor of the proposed sexual orientation and gender identity clause being added to its non-discrimination ordinance in providing housing, employment and public accommodation, with effect from 19 March [R2.8].

On 10 June 2014, the Canton Township Board of Trustees decided 7-1 to adopt an anti-discrimination ordinance [R2.7].

On 22 July 2013, the Kalamazoo Township board adopted 6-0 an ordinance that bans discrimination in providing housing, employment or public accommodations based on gender identity, sexual orientation and other factors and imposing violation fines from $75 to $500 [R2.6].

In November 2009, 62% of Kalamazoo voters passed an ordinance to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people from discrimination in housing, employment, city contracts and public accomodations [R2.5].

Previously:

On 29 June 2009, the Kalamazoo City commission, voted unanimously to expand protections for LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations, but opponents of the measure vowed to challenge it [R2.4].


In April 2008, Detroit's city council amended its nondiscrimination law to include protections for gender expression [R2.3].


In 1978, Ann Arbor was the first Michigan city to prohibit discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation [R2.1].


On 07 March 1972, the East Lansing city council voted 4–1 to protect city workers from termination related to their gender or sexual orientation (though an ultimately unsuccessful effort was launched to make "homosexual solicitation" a fireable offense). A gay rights group at Michigan State University pushed the historic action at city hall [R2.2].


Similar non-discrimination measures have been passed in Birmingham, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Saginaw, Traverse City and Ypsilanti [R2.1].

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 18 August 2016, US District Judge Sean Cox dismissed a 2014 lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that said RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc unlawfully fired funeral director Aimee Stephens when she told her bosses she would transition from male to female. Notwithstanding that the funeral home was not religiously affiliated, served all denominations and is open to anyone in the public, the court ruling means that owner Thomas Rost's professed individual religious beliefs enable him to both violate civil rights laws and such civil rights laws cannot be enforced [C3.9], [R3.8].

On 30 November 2012, US District Judge Robert Cleland granted summary judgment to Great Expressions Dental Centres dismissing a lawsuit filed by James White, a former dental centre employee in Michigan who claimed he faced discrimination at work and was fired because he is HIV-positive [C3.7], [R3.6].

On 27 January 2012, the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Julea Ward, a graduate counseling student expelled from Eastern Michigan University after she refused to see a gay client, might have been discriminated against because of her faith, reversing and remanding the case to the District Court for further proceedings [C3.5], [R3.4].

Previously

In July 2010, federal Judge George Caram Steeh disallowed an appeal by Julea Ward, a former Eastern Michigan University graduate student dismissed for refusing to help a gay client as part of her master's program in counseling because she believed gay lifestyles are immoral [R3.3].


On 31 July 2002, Supreme Court ruled that a former Detroit police lieutenant who sued the department for harassment because she is a lesbian had no right to pursue litigation [R3.2].

Previously:

On 30 October 2000, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a Detroit police lieutenant accusing the department of harassing her because she is a lesbian can sue for sexual orientation discrimination [R3.1].

R1.2 WashingtonPost: Michigan board: Civil rights law bars LGBT discrimination 21 MAY 18
R1.1 365gay.com: Anti-Gay Medical Bills Spread To Other States 29 APR 04
365gay.com: Michigan Preparing To Let Doctors Refuse To Treat Gays 21 APR 04
R2.8 LGBTQnation: East Grand Rapids adds LGBT protections to non-discrimination law 17 MAR 15
R2.7 GLBTNN: Michigan: Canton adopts equal rights rules 11 JUN 14
R2.6 mLive: Non-discrimination ordinance passed in 6-0 vote by Kalamazoo Township board 22 JUL 13
R2.5 PinkNews.co.uk: Kalamazoo grants anti-discrimination protections for gay people 04 NOV 09
R2.4 The Advocate: Kalamazoo OK's LGBT Rights Ordinance 04 NOV 09
R2.3 The Advocate: Detroit Adds Gender Identity to Nondiscrimination Law 10 APR 08
R2.2 The Advocate: Michigan City Celebrates Oldest Gay Rights Ordinance in US 07 MAR 12
R2.1 The Oakland Press: Human rights law proposed again for Royal Oak 18 NOV 12
3. Courts & Tribunals
C3.9 Opinion and Order: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc No. 14-13710 PDF 164.80kb 18 AUG 16
R3.8 ReutersUS: 18 AUG 16
C3.7 Opinion and Order: ADG, LLC v. James White Case No. 11-15534 PDF 33.50kb, 30 NOV 12
R3.6 PinkNews: Judge dismisses lawsuit filed by HIV-positive dental worker 08 JAN 13
C3.5 US 6th Court of Appeals Opinion: Julea Ward v. Vernon Polite et al Nos. 10-2100/2145 PDF 62.29kb, 27 JAN 12
R3.4 The Advocate: Appeals Court Revives Case of Antigay Counseling Student 30 JAN 12
R3.3 The Advocate: Judge Rules Against Antigay Student 28 JUL 10
R3.2 Detroit Free Press: Court Reverses on Police Lawsuit 01 AUG 02
R3.1 Detroit Free Press: Lesbian Cop Can Sue, Court Rules 31 OCT 00

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Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION] [PRIVACY]
1.

State

On 14 September 2016, the State Board of Education voted 6-2 in favor of voluntary guidelines aimed at creating an inclusive environment for LGBTQ students [D1.2], [R1.1].

2.

County

In December 2010, Oakland County a female to male transgender man who had completed gender reassignment surgery, was denied a licence to marry his fiancee because he didn't have a penis [R2.1].

Under Michigan law, an affidavit from the treating doctor showing completed gender reassignment surgery is sufficient to apply for the issue of a new birth certificate showing the reassigned gender [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

On 06 October 2015, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund announced a legal name change service in Detroit for transgender people allowing those who lack funds and fear discrimination to get pro bono help from a lawyer with many or all of the filing fees waived [R3.3].

In November 2009, 62% of Kalamazoo voters passed an ordinance to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people from discrimination in housing, employment, city contracts and public accomodations [R3.2].

In April 2008, Detroit's city council amended its nondiscrimination law to include protections for gender expression [R3.1].

4.

Courts & Tribunals

On 06 April 2018, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered the Court of Appeals to reconsider the claims of Yvette Cormier against Planet Fitness that her rights were violated when she encountered a fully clothed M2F transgender person in the locker room [C4.11], [R4.10].

On 12 July 2017, it was reported that Midland County woman Yvette Cormier, who sued Planet Fitness for its transgender-friendly locker room policy, is now taking her case to the Michigan Supreme Court. The case is based on her seeing a transgender person in the locker room at the Planet Fitness in Midland on 28 February 2015 [R4.9]. (See below)

On 01 June 2017, the Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in favor of PF Fitness-Midland club in a lawsuit filed by Yvette Cormier who claimed her rights were violated when she encountered a fully clothed M2F transgender person in the locker room, finding no evidence of sexual harassment. The fitness club terminated her membership a week after the incident after Cormier returned to the gym and warned other women [C4.8], [R4.7].

On 13 October 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a notice of appeal before US District Judge Sean Cox who ruled in August the Religious Freedom Restoration Act allows R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes to discriminate against Amiee Stephens [R4.6].

On 18 August 2016, US District Judge Sean Cox dismissed a 2014 lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that said RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc unlawfully fired funeral director Aimee Stephens when she told her bosses she would transition from male to female. Notwithstanding that the funeral home was not religiously affiliated, served all denominations and is open to anyone in the public, the court ruling means that owner Thomas Rost's professed individual religious beliefs enable him to both violate civil rights laws and such civil rights laws cannot be enforced [C4.5], [R4.4].

On 25 November 2015, US Magistrate Judge David R Grand in the Eastern District of Michigan rejected a second attempt by R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes seeking 'intimate and private' information of former funeral director Aimee Stephens in the dispute over her employment termination [R4.3].

On 24 September 2015, US Magistrate Judge David R Grand in the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc., was not entitled to the trove of personal and medical information of former funeral director Aimee Stephens it requested about her sexual history and the status of her transition in a dispute over her employment termination [C4.2], [R4.1].

D1.2 Department of Eduction Memorandum: Discussion and Consideration of Action on Statement and Guidance on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students PDF 233.03kb, 30 AUG 16
R1.1 LGBTQnation: Michigan schools set new inclusive policy for transgender students 14 SEP 16
R2.1 The Michigan Messenger: Transgender man marries, has marriage revoked in the same day 29 DEC 10
R3.3 DetroitFreePress: Transgender name change service comes to Detroit 06 OCT 15
R3.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Kalamazoo grants anti-discrimination protections for gay people 04 NOV 09
R3.1 The Advocate: Detroit Adds Gender Identity to Nondiscrimination Law 10 APR 08
3. Courts & Tribunals
C4.11 Order: Yvette M Cormier v. Planet Fitness PDF 111.52kb 06 APR 18
R4.10 TheSeattleTimes: Appeal revived in lawsuit over transgender at health club 11 APR 18
R4.9. mLive: Planet Fitness transgender locker room case heads to Michigan Supreme Court 12 JUL 17
C4.8 Opinion: Yvette N Cormier v. PF Fitness et al. No. 331286 PDF 117.00kb 01 JUN 17
R4.7 TheWashingtonTimes: Health club wins key ruling in lawsuit over transgender 02 JUN 17
R4.6 WashingtonBlade: EEOC appeals ruling enabling anti-trans bias at funeral home 13 OCT 16
C4.5 Opinion and Order: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc No. 14-13710 PDF 164.80kb 18 AUG 16
R4.4 ReutersUS: 18 AUG 16
R4.3 TheAdvocate: Judge: Fired Trans Woman Doesn't Have to Reveal What's Between Her Legs 30 NOV 15
C4.2 Order: EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. No. 2:14-cv-13710 PDF 131.92kb, 24 SEP 14
R4.1 ReutersUS: Funeral home not entitled to records of fired transgender worker 24 SEP 15
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In November 1998, bill HB 4674 would amend the state's "hate crime" law includes "sexual orientation" among the bias motivations designated in the law if passed by the Senate [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 02 August 2012, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that the plaintiff Michigan Christian ministers had not established standing to challenge the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which offers harsher punishments for individuals who commit violent acts on individuals due to their sexual orientation, upholding a previous ruling that found the law constitutional [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.1 Triangle Foundation: Michigan House Passes Measure to Protect Gays from Hate Violence 12 NOV 98
C2.2 Opinion: Gary Glenn & Ors v. Eric H Holder 10-2273 PDF 42.95kb, 02 AUG 12
R2.1 TPM: Appeals Court: Hate Crimes Act Doesnít Suppress Anti-Gay Speech 02 AUG 12
HIV, Aids Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

As at 2013, it is a felony, with a four-year jail sentence, for those who know they are HIV-positive to engage in "sexual penetration, however slight" without first disclosing that status to a partner. Sexual penetration is defined to include oral, anal, and vaginal intercourse but also includes inserting an "object" into a person's "genital or oral openings" [R1.1].

R1.1 The Advocate: 4 States With Scientifically Unsound Laws Criminalizing HIV 01 APR 13
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

In 1996, sodomy was unlawful in Michigan [R1.2].

Maximum punishment is 15 years for first conviction, life imprisonment thereafter (which cannot be enforced in Wayne County).


On 08 February 2015, the Senate passed Bill SB 219 (Logan's Law) which serves harsher punishment for animal abusers, but seems also to reaffirm that sodomy is punishable by over a decade in prison [R1.1]:

"Sec. 158. (1) Any A person who shall commit COMMITS the abominable and detestable crime against nature either with mankind or with any animal shall be IS guilty of a felony , punishable by imprisonment in the state prison FOR not more than 15 years, or if such person THE DEFENDANT was A SEXUALLY DELINQUENT PERSON at the time of the said offense, a sexually delinquent person, may be A FELONY punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for an indeterminate term, the minimum of which shall be 1 day and the maximum of which shall be life" [R1.1].

However, see 2. Courts & Tribunals below.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 June 2003, the US Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence & Garner -v- Texas that a similar the law in Texas was an unconstitutional violation of privacy. The ruling is thought to nullify or invalidate the previous Michigan law [C2.5], [R2.4] and the words "either with mankind or" in the above Bill SB 219 (Logan's La,w) being inconsistent with the Supreme Court ruling [Ed].


On 16 June 2011, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled 2–1 that a man who attacked another man for unwanted sexual advances was rightly denied the use of "gay panic" as a defense strategy because he used excessive force. Force that far exceeded the force necessary for defendant to defend himself [C2.3], [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.2 ILGA: Annual Report 1996 - Part II 1996
R1.1 Hollywoodlife: Michigan: State Passes Law Making Gay Sex Illegal - Punishable By 15 Years In Prison 08 FEB 16
C2.5 US Supreme Court: Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558 (2003) 26 JUN 03
R2.4 Associated Press: Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban 26 JUN 03
C2.3 People of the State of Michigan v. Dale Edward Cutler Shapiro J (dissenting) PDF 14.4kb, 16 JUN 11
C2.2 People of the State of Michigan v. Dale Edward Cutler Fitzgerald and Borello JJ (per curiam) PDF 23.96kb, 16 JUN 11
R2.1 The Michigan Messenger: Appeals court says gay panic is not self defense 20 JUN 11
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

On 14 December 2015, Attorney Jeffrey D Koelzer discusses situations in which same-sex couples might benefit from a prenuptial agreement [R1.12].

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and all states must fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in any jurisdiction [C2.30, [R2.29]. See 2. Courts & Tribunals below .

Michigan Constitution. Article 1 Declaration of Rights

§ 25 Marriage

To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose [L1.11].

History: Add. Init., approved Nov. 2, 2004, Eff. Dec. 18, 2004.


Michigan Compiled Laws. Chapter 83. Of marriage and the solemnization thereof.

551.1 Marriage between individuals of same sex as invalid contract [L1.10].

Sec. 1. Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman. As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting that unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in this state.

Michigan Compiled Laws. Chapter 551 Marriage, Foreign Marriages

551.272 Marriage not between man and woman invalidated [L1.9].

Sec. 2. This state recognizes marriage as inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman, as prescribed by section 1 of chapter 83 of the Revised Statutes of 1846, being section 551.1 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, and therefore a marriage that is not between a man and a woman is invalid in this state regardless of whether the marriage is contracted according to the laws of another jurisdiction.


On 04 February 2015, Governor Rick Snyder announced that the state will recognize 300 same-sex marriages carried out during a flurry of ceremonies last year following a federal judge striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage on 21 March 2014 and the granting of a stay of the order on 22 March 2014 in the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [R1.8].

On 28 March 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder extended federal recognition to the marriages of about 300 same-sex couples that took place in Michigan before a federal appeals court put those unions on hold, enabling the government to extend eligibility for federal benefits - which means they can file federal taxes jointly, get Social Security benefits for spouses and request legal immigration status for partners, among other benefits [R1.7].

On 07 March 2013, Tribal Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Dexter McNamara released a statement (07 March) saying he will sign the Same Sex Marriage Statute to allow same sex marriage [R1.6].

On 03 March 2013, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians tribal council voted 5–4 to allow same-sex marriage under tribal law. If not vetoed by the tribal chairman, the tribe will become the third in the US to seek introduce marriage equality under its tribal laws [R1.5].

On 08 July 2012, a proposed amendment to allow same-sex marriage between members and spouses of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians failed in a 4–5 vote [R1.4].

In March 2012, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians' tribal council was considering a constitutional amendment that would recognize same-sex marriages [R1.3].

On 03 November 2009, state house speaker pro tem Pam Byrnes introduced a resolution seeking a referendum that would ask voters to amend the constitution to allow same-sex marriage. Gaining support for the resolution was expected to be a challenge [R1.2].

In May 2004, the permanent judicial commission of the Presbyterian Church (USA) synod that oversees churches in Ohio and Michigan ruled 6-4 that the denomination's constitution does not prohibit ministers from marrying same-sex couples [R1.1].

On 26 June 1996 Michigan passed a law that prohibits marriages between same-sex couples and the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states [L1.5].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry and all states must fully recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in any jurisdiction [C2.30, [R2.29].

On 21 April 2015, Judge Gordon J Quist in the US District Court denied the application of Bruce T Morgan and Brian P Merucci to lift the stay preventing the recognition of their out-of-state marriage. The couple were married in New York in 2013 and Morgan suffers from brain cancer [C2.28], [R2.27].

On 16 January 2015, the US Supreme Court agreed to consider the four same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, consolidated and heard together on the question as to whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to licence same-sex marriage and to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. A ruling is expected before the current term ends in late June [C2.26], [R2.25].

On 15 January 2015, US District Court Judge Mark A Goldsmith ruled that some 300 same-sex couples who got married in Michigan when its ban was struck down on 22 March 2014 have a right to recognition of their validly performed marriage by the State. The Court granted the motion for a preliminary injunction stayed for 21 days [C2.24], [R2.23].

On 23 December 2014, the US Supreme Court confirmed that the same-sex marriage cases of Bourke v. Bashear (Kentucky) , DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan), Obergefell v. Hodges (Ohio) and Tango v. Haslam (Tennessee) were distributed to the Justices for consideration at their 09 January Conference, when the case of Robicheaux v. George (Louisiana) will also be conferenced [R2.22].

On 17 November 2014, petitions were filed in the US Supreme Court seeking a review of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion upholding the same-sex marriage ban in the case of April DeBoer v. Richard Snyder [C2.21], [R2.20].

On 06 November 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld same-sex marriaage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. In contrast, the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits have struck the bans down, making it more likely that the US Supreme Court will eventually make a ruling [C2.19], [R2.18].

On 16 June 2014, the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinatti, in four separate notices, set 06 August at 1 pm as the single day to hear arguments in the five marriage equality cases pending before the court [R2.17].

On 11 June 2014, Bruce Morgan and Brian Merucci filed a complaint in the Federal Court seeking recognition of their same-sex marriage performed in New York state in December 2013 [R2.16].

On 25 March 2014, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals granted (2-1) the state's request for an indefinate stay of the 21 March marriage equality ruling by US District Judge Bernard Friedman in in April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors [C2.15], [R2.14].

On 22 March 2014, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order granting a temporary stay preventing more same-sex couples from getting married in Michigan until 26 March 2014 [C2.13], [R2.12].

On 21 March 2014, US District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman concluded in April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors that the voter-approved amendment to the Michigan Constitution that prohibits same-sex marriage was contrary to the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. A Notice of Appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has been filed, together with a request for a stay [C2.11], [R2.10].

On 07 March 2014, the April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors case before Judge Bernard Friedman concluded. A decision is expected by or before to 21 March 2014 [R2.9].

On 16 October 2013, Judge Bernard Friedman reportedly set down the trial in the April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors case for 24 February 2014 [R2.8].

On 01 July 2013, Federal Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that the DeBoer and Rowse's claims – challenging the validity of the state's ban on same-sex adoptions and on same sex marriage under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment – have sufficient merit to proceed to trial [C2.7], [R2.6].

On 16 April 2013, the Court of Appeals ruled that a Michigan woman suffering from dementia was properly granted a divorce from her husband who had since marriage surgically become a woman [C2.5], [R2.4].

On 07 March 2013, US District Judge Bernard Friedman said in April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors that he will wait for the US Supreme Court to decide two gay marriage cases before ruling on whether Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional and the ban on adoptions by unmarried couples lawful [R2.3].

On 12 February 2013, the Oakland County Clerk's Office ended its challenge to a lawsuit filed by a lesbian couple April DeBoer Rowse and Jayne Rowse fighting to overturn Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage and joint adoption. The case is listed for hearing 07 March [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.12 TheNationalLawReview: 14 DEC 15
L1.11 Michigan Legislature: Michigan Constitution PDF 2.21MB, (Accessed 23 MAR 10)
L1.10 Michigan Compiled Laws: Chapter 83, Section 551.1 (Accessed 10 NOV 09)
L1.9 Michigan Compiled Laws: Chapter 551, Section 551.272 (Accessed 10 NOV 09)
R1.8 TheWashingtonPost: Michigan agrees to recognize 300 same-sex marriages carried out during brief window last year 04 FEB 15
R1.7 EdgeOnTheNet: US Recognizes Michigan Same-Sex Couple Marriages 28 MAR 14
R1.6 Native News Network: Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians to Sign Same Sex Marriage Statute 08 MAR 13
R1.5 GayStarNews: Third American Indian tribe moves to allow same-sex marriage 06 MAR 13
R1.4 PetoskyNews: Single vote denies Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians same-sex marriage amendment 10 JUL 12
R1.3 NPR: Tribe considers recognizing same-sex marriages 21 MAR 12
R1.2 The Advocate: Michigan Lawmaker: Reverse Marriage Ban 05 NOV 09
R1.1 Associated Press: Church Panel Reverses Gay Marriage Ruling 02 MAY 04
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.30 Opinion: Obergefell, et al v. Hodges et al No. 14-556 PDF 428.77kb, 26 JUN 15
R2.29 ScotusBlog: Opinion analysis: Marriage now open to same-sex couples 26 JUN 15
C2.28 Order: Bruce T Morgan and Brian P Merucci v. Rick Snyder and Mark Hollinrake No. 1:14-CV-632 PDF 67.31kb, 21 APR 15
R2.27 WashingtonBlade: Judge won't order recognizing terminally ill gay manís marriage 22 APR 15
C2.26 Order List: 574 U.S.: Certiorari Granted PDF 42.84kb, 16 JAN 15
R2.25 USAtoday: Supreme Court agrees to rule on gay marriage 16 JAN 15
C2.24 Opinion and Order: Marsha Caspar, et al, v. Richard Snyder, et al. No. 14-CV-11499 PDF 166.55 kb, 15 JAN 15
R2.23 DetroitFreePress: Federal judge rules Michigan must recognize existing same-sex marriages 15 JAN 14
R2.22 SCOTUSblog: Same-sex marriage cases ready, scheduled 23 DEC 14
C2.21 Petition for a Writ of Certiorari: April Deboer, et al., v. Richard Snyder, et al. No. 14-571 PDF 259.31kb, 17 NOV 14
R2.20 EqualityOnTrial: Supreme Court asked to review Michigan, Kentucky same-sex marriage cases 17 NOV 14
C2.19 Opinion: April DeBoer, et al. v. Richard Snyder, et al., James Obergefell, et al., v. Richard Hodges, Brittani Henry, et al. v. Richard Hodges, et al., Greghory Bourke, et al. v. Steve Beshear, Valeria Tanco, et al. v. William Edward "Bill" Haslam, et al., Timothy Love, et al. v. Steve Beshear Nos. 14-1341, 14-3057, 14-3463, 14-5291, 14-5297, 14-5818 PDF 361.86kb, 11 JUN 14
R2.18 EqualityOnTrial: Sixth Circuit upholds same-sex marriage bans 06 NOV 14
R2.17 WashingtonBlade: Appeals court sets August 6 for marriage arguments in four states 16 APR 14
R2.16 minbcnews: Michigan sued over gay marriage from New York 12 JUN 14
C2.15 Order: April Deboer and Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder No. 14-1341 PDF 240.23kb, 25 MAR 14
R2.14 EdgeOnTheNet: Court Extends Freeze on Michigan Gay Marriages 26 MAR 14
C2.13 Temporary Stay Order: April Deboer and Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder No. 14-1431PDF 31.39kb, 22 MAR 14
R2.12 LGBTQ Nation: Appeals court suspends same-sex marriages in Michigan 22 MAR
C2.11 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law: April Deboer and Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder No. 12-CV-10285 PDF 85.80kb, 21 MAR 14
R2.10 TheNewYorkTimes: Michigan Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Is Struck Down 21 MAR 14
R2.9 EdgeOnTheNet: Judge: Gay Marriage Trial Ruling Within 2 Weeks 07 MAR 14
R2.8 GayStarNews: Federal judge orders February trial on challenge to Michigan's gay marriage ban 16 OCT 13
C2.7 Opinion and Order: April Deboer et al v. Richard Snyder et al No. 12-cv-10285 PDF 27.39kb, 01 JUL 13
R2.6 WXYZ News: Federal judge rules same-sex adoption case can move forward; Trial date expected to be set July 10 01 JUL 13
C2.5 Opinion: In re Estate of Devon Pearl Burnett No 309640 PDF 30.63kb, 16 APR 13
R2.4 Courthouse News Service: Sex Change Didn't 'Magically Dissolve' Marriage 19 APR 13
R2.3 The Advocate: Michigan Judge Tells Lesbian Moms He Can't Help Until Supreme Court Rules 07 MAR 13
C2.2 Notice of Withdrawal of Defendant Bullard's Motion to Dismiss: April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors 2:12-cv-10285-BAF-MJH PDF 62.01kb, 12 FEB 13
R2.1 Detroit Free Press: Oakland County ends challenge to lesbian couple's fight against same-sex marriage ban 12 FEB 13
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

State

Michigan's law provides that: "If a person desires to adopt a child ... that person, together with his wife or her husband, if married, should file a petition" [R1.2].

Experts said most Michigan judges allow gays to adopt as single parents (but see: 2. Courts & Tribunals below).

Many judges interpret the law to mean that two people must be married to adopt together.

But some say Michigan's law means if two people are married, they must adopt together, but if they're not married, they can co-adopt.


On 11 June 2015, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation allowing private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples on religious grounds [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 02 August 2016, the State Supreme Court denied the applications for leave to appeal in two cases where Deanna Mabry and Rola Kolailat sought parental rights, arguing that as gay marriage is now legal, they should get the associated benefits retroactively - even if relationships with their partners are over. The Court ruled 5-2 that they have no rights under state law because they're not the biological mothers and the children weren't born during a marriage [C2.13], [C2.12], [R2.11].

On 05 July 2016, the Court of Appeals in the Lake v. Putnam case ruled that Michelle Lake, whose same-sex relationship ended before gay marriage became legal, doesn't have parental rights to a child born to her partner Kerri Putnam in 2008, because the boy wasn't born during a ''marriage'' [C2.10], [R2.9].

On 01 July 2013, Federal Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that the DeBoer and Rowse's claims – challenging the state's ban on same-sex adoptions and the state's ban on same sex marriage is not valid under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment – have sufficient merit to proceed to trial [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 07 March 2013, US District Judge Bernard Friedman said in April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors that he will wait for the US Supreme Court to decide two gay marriage cases before ruling on whether Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional and the ban on adoptions by unmarried couples lawful [R2.6].

On 12 February 2013, the Oakland County Clerk's Office ended its challenge to a lawsuit filed by a lesbian couple April DeBoer Rowse and Jayne Rowse fighting to overturn Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage and joint adoption. The case is listed for hearing 07 March [C2.5], [R2.4].

On 29 August 2012, US District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman gave April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse 10 days to amend their suit to challenge the ban on same-sex marriages before ruling on a request from the state to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the ban on adoptions by unmarried couples [R2.3].

In June 2002, Washtenaw County chief judge Archie Brown banned second-parent adoptions by unwed couples in the courts under his control [R2.2].

The decision to cease adoptions to unwed couples and reassign existing requests to himself was challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union [R2.1].

R1.2 Detroit News: State Law Vague on Gay Couples' Right to Adopt'' 27 MAR 02
R1.1 Reuters: Michigan governor signs bills allowing gay-couple adoption refusal 11 JUN 15
C2.12 Order: Rola Kolailat v. Lindsey McKennett No. 153075 PDF 45.53kb 02 AUG 15
C2.12 Order: Deanna D Mabry v. Johanna Suzanne-Graine Mabry No. 153082 PDF 65.00kb 02 AUG 15
R2.11 DesmoinesRegister: Top Michigan court rejects appeals in same-sex custody cases 03 AUG 16
C2.10 Opinion: Michelle Lake v. Kerri Putnam aka Kerri Skidmore No. 330955 PDF 92.85kgs 05 JUL 16
R2.9 TheDetroitNews: Court: No parent rights at end of same-sex relationship 06 JUL 16
C2.8 Opinion and Order: April Deboer et al v. Richard Snyder et al No. 12-cv-10285 PDF 27.39kb, 01 JUL 13
R2.7 WXYZ News: Federal judge rules same-sex adoption case can move forward; Trial date expected to be set July 10 01 JUL 13
R2.6 The Advocate: Michigan Judge Tells Lesbian Moms He Can't Help Until Supreme Court Rules 07 MAR 13
C2.5 Notice of Withdrawal of Defendant Bullard's Motion to Dismiss: April Deboer & Jane Rowse v. Richard Snyder & Ors 2:12-cv-10285-BAF-MJH PDF 62.01kb, 12 FEB 13
R2.4 Detroit Free Press: Oakland County ends challenge to lesbian couple's fight against same-sex marriage ban 12 FEB 13
R2.3 The Detroit News: Judge tells couple to consider challenging state's gay marriage ban 29 AUG 12
R2.2 The Advocate: Michigan Judge Enforces Adoption Ban 14 JUN 02
The Advocate: Michigan County Bans Second-parent Adoptions'' 06 JUN 02
R2.1 Detroit Free Press: ACLU Challenges Rulings on Adoption by Unwed Pairs 15 JUN 02
PRIVACY Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 25 November 2015, US Magistrate Judge David R Grand in the Eastern District of Michigan rejected a second attempt by R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes seeking 'intimate and private' information of former funeral director Aimee Stephens in the dispute over her employment termination [R1.3].

On 24 September 2015, US Magistrate Judge David R Grand in the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc., was not entitled to the trove of personal and medical information of former funeral director Aimee Stephens it requested about her sexual history and the status of her transition in a dispute over her employment termination [C1.2], [R1.1].

R1.3 TheAdvocate: Judge: Fired Trans Woman Doesn't Have to Reveal What's Between Her Legs 30 NOV 15
C1.2 Order: EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. No. 2:14-cv-13710 PDF 131.92kb, 24 SEP 14
R1.1 ReutersUS: Funeral home not entitled to records of fired transgender worker 24 SEP 15
Violence, Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [HATE CRIMES]
1.

State

On 06 December 2011, Governor Rick Snyder signed anti-bullying legislation to help protect Michigan students from intimidation and harassment, making the 48th state to require schools to develop and enforce bullying policies to stop bullying in schools [R1.5].

Previously:

On 14 November 2011, Republican senator Rick Jones agreed to drop an exception for expressions of "sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction" from the Senate version of the anti-bullying bill. The legislation does not list characteristics, such as sexual orientation [R1.4].

On 10 November 2011, the anti-bullying bill was passed 88–18 by the House with some controversial language removed and strong bi-partisan support. If approved by the Senate and signed into law the bill will also cover electronic devices owned by the school, even if those devices are being used off school premises [R1.3].

On 02 November 2011, the Senate passed "Matt's Safe School Law" [SB 0137], named for 14-year-old Matt Epling who committed suicide in 2008 after being bullied by his classmates, that controversially includes a provision specifically noting –

"This section does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil & parent or guardian" [L1.2], [R1.1].

On 02 November 2011, the Bill was received and read in the House for the first time and referred to the Committee on Education.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 27 March 2018, the Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that state prisoners have civil rights and that a lawsuit brought by hundreds of state prisoners who allege they were sexually abused by older inmates while held in state prisons can proceed. The case was brought under the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) and finds the amended act excluding a state or county correctional facility from the purview of the Act unconstitutional [C2.11], [C2.10], [R2.9].

On 03 October 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the District Court ruling that alleged harassment of shift manager David Hylko Jr by process coordinator John Hemphill regularly asking Hylko about his sex life and grabbing his buttocks and penis did not constitute sexual harassment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act as US Steel transferred Hylko and disciplined Hemphill in response to Hylko's complaint [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 01 June 2017, the Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in favor of PF Fitness-Midland club in a lawsuit filed by Yvette Cormier who claimed her rights were violated when she encountered a fully clothed M2F transgender person in the locker room, finding no evidence of sexual harassment. The fitness club terminated her membership a week after the incident after Cormier returned to the gym and warned other women [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 08 January 2015, the Michigan Court of Appeals found 3-0 that the attorney general's office was justified in firing Andrew Shirvell in 2010 because his posts on Facebook and an anti-gay blog (cyber-bullying) directed against gay student Chris Armstrong, as well as his campus visits and TV appearances, clearly had an adverse impact on the agency's credibility. The Court rejected claims that his off-hours activities were protected by the First Amendment and denied his claim for unemployment benefits [C2.4], [R2.3].

On 16 August 2012, a US District Court Eastern District of Michigan jury awarded Chris Armstrong $4.5 million in his suit against former assistant state attorney general Andrew Shirvell for defamation, invasion of privacy/false light, intentional infliction of emoitional distress and stalking [C2.2], [R2.1].

R1.3 The Detroit News: State House passes anti-bullying bill without controversial language 10 NOV 11
L1.2 Michigan Legislature: Substitute for Senate Bill No. 137 PDF 29.17kb, 02 NOV 11
R1.1 The Huffington Post: Michigan's 'Matt's Safe School Law' Allows Bullying With Religious, Moral Reason 04 NOV 11
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.11 Majority Opinion: John Does 11-18 and Jane Doe 1 v. Department of Corrections et al. No. 332536 PDF 116.01kb 27 MAR 18
C2.10 Dissenting Opinion: John Does 11-18 and Jane Doe 1 v. Department of Corrections et al. No. 332536 PDF 184.90kb 27 MAR 18
R2.9 13ABC: Appeals court says even Michigan prisoners have civil rights 27 MAR 18
C2.8 Opinion: David Hylko, Jr., v. John Hemphill and US Steel Corporation No. 16-2414 PDF 17.44kb 03 OCT 17
R2.7 Reuters: 6th Circuit tosses same-sex harassment case against U.S. Steel 04 OCT 17
C2.6 Opinion: Yvette N Cormier v. PF Fitness et al. No. 331286 PDF 117.00kb 01 JUN 17
R2.5 TheWashingtonTimes: Health club wins key ruling in lawsuit over transgender 02 JUN 17
C2.4 Opinion: Andrew Shirvell v. Department of Attorney-General, et al. Nos. 314223, 314227 PDF 230.53kb, 08 JAN 15
R2.3 LGBTQnation: Court: State lawyer's 'bullying' of gay student not protected by 1st Amendment 10 JAN 15
C2.2 Armstrong v. Shirvell U.S.D.C. (E.D. Mich.), Case No. 2:11-cv-11921-AJT-PJK 16 Auugust 2012
R2.1 Washington Blade: Gay former University of Michigan student president wins harassment case 17 AUG 12

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