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Senate version of Michigan Republicans’ “Local Government Control Prohibition Act” drops, same as House version

Earlier this week, House Republicans held a hearing on H.B. 4052, a bill that would prohibit local governments from passing employment-related ordinances that are more restrictive than state-level laws. Although it is called the “Local Government Employer Mandate Prohibition Act”, it really should be referred to as the “Local Government Control Prohibition Act” because it strips what is commonly known as “home rule” from local governments.

The list of things covered by the current version of H.B. 4052 is pretty large. It would prohibit a local governmental body from adopting, enforcing, or administering an ordinance, local policy, or local resolution that:

  • Regulates the relationship between an employer and its employees or potential employees, if the regulation contains requirements exceeding those imposed by state or federal law.
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Michigan Republicans move to strip power of local governments to protect workers and the LGBT community

Republicans have successfully branded themselves as the party that worships “local governmental control”. They want federal regulations repealed and the power given to the states on all sorts of things from the environment to the Affordable Care Act. But, when it comes to actual local control, where local municipalities set their own rules, the whole idea of “local governmental control” is simply a quaint notion to be dispensed with posthaste to maintain their own control over our state.

Republicans in Michigan are sick and tired of local governments having the audacity to do things like pass local minimum wage requirements or giving the LGBTQ community actual civil rights protections.…

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GOP opponents of same-sex marriage visit Michigan, ignore public support for marriage equality

To call their stubborn refusal to listen to the public “tone deaf” is an understatement.

On Tuesday, three vocal opponents of marriage equality visited Michigan — a state where a recent poll shows strong support for legalizing same-sex marriage.

New state-based polling data from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that Michigan voters favor marriage equality by an overwhelming margin: 56 percent to 37 percent. You can read more about the poll HERE.

But don’t tell Rand Paul, Ben Carson or Scott Walker. Well, you can try, but they’d probably just put their fingers in their ears and hum loudly to avoid hearing the truth: Public support is on the side of marriage equality.…

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Tim Walberg cosponsors bill to defile the US Constitution and interfere with the Supreme Court

Members of the tea party caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives spend enormous amounts of energy and time waving around the U.S. Constitution and making claims about how their opponents don’t respect it. However, a recent move by several House Republicans, including Michigan’s Tim Walberg, show just how little regard they have for the Constitution when it interferes with their personal agenda.

Iowa Republican Steve King recently introduced the “Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act”. It’s a highly unusual move that would prevent the U.S. Supreme Court from hearing any cases related to marriage equality. Here’s what King says about his bill:

For too long, federal courts have overstepped their constitutionally limited duty to interpret the Constitution.…
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Michigan Democratic legislators call for legal protections for LGBT people

In a move that demonstrates the Democratic principle of fairness for all, lawmakers seek update to Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

In a press conference today, members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses urged an update of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) that will protect Michiganders from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Placing LGBT Michiganders under the protections of the ELCRA will give them the same protections that already exist for Michiganders on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight or marital status, ensuring that Michigan is welcoming and fair to all of its citizens.…

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Michigan AG Schuette’s hired gun paid $50K to tell SCOTUS gay marriage creates unwed mothers

There is a great deal of speculation on how the Supreme Court will decide the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that will likely decide once and for all whether or not same-sex marriage bans at the state level are constitutional or not. Yesterday, they heard two and half hours of oral arguments, an unusually long session (most are only an hour.) It’s often difficult to read how the justices are leaning, particularly with justices like Justice Anthony Kennedy – generally considered the swing vote on this case – who is known for asking hard questions to attorneys on both sides.…

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Michigan Republicans carry out callous, sneaky attacks on women, LGBT people and families

With control over every aspect of Michigan’s government, Republicans are no longer even trying to hide their contempt for anyone they disagree with.

By the time you read this post, there’s a good chance the Michigan GOP will have pulled another underhanded stunt. They’re becoming an everyday occurrence. But for now, I’ll focus on two power grabs on April 28 that are turning stomachs and eliciting rightful indignation across the state.

First, there was the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) legislation (Senate Bill 4) proposed by Republican Senator Mike Shirkey. At 4 p.m., when testimony began, committee chair Republican Senator Rick Jones made it clear the meeting would end promptly at 4:30 p.m.…

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When religious exemptions become law: How RFRA hurts everyone

A look at what’s at stake if RFRA legislation comes to Michigan.

On April 28, the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee will take testimony and debate Senate Bill 4, the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Although a vote is not expected on SB 4 that day, odds are good there will be one eventually. And understanding the implications of RFRA legislation is important — especially because there’s more than one RFRA-style bill in the Michigan Legislature right now.

Most of the attention on RFRA legislation has understandably focused on LGBT people, especially in Michigan where there are currently no civil rights protections for the LGBT community under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.…

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INTERVIEW: Meet Jayne Rowse & April DeBoer, two Michigan women at the center of this week’s SCOTUS marriage equality case

With the U.S. Supreme Court hearing testimony tomorrow on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in places like Michigan, I thought it would be a good time to repost my interview with April DeBoer and Jayne Rowze. Although much has happened since our interview a bit over a year ago – like the addition of a fourth child to their family – it’s worth hearing directly from Jayne and April why this case is so critical to couples like them. They talk about the terrifying experience that made them realize that their second-class citizenship status was a threat to the children they are raising together.…

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Michigan Senate committee to hear testimony on RFRA bill the same day marriage equality case is at Supreme Court

Sneaking this hearing in on a historic day for the LGBT community is dirty politics. Take action to make sure testimony opposing RFRA legislation gets heard.

It’s hard not to be cynical about the timing of the Michigan Senate committee hearing on “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) legislation on April 28th. The same day DeBoer v Snyder, the case for marriage equality, gets its day at the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan Republicans have scheduled hearings on RFRA legislation similar to the RFRA legislation passed in Indiana that caused a rightful uproar. The Indiana legislation was changed after it was passed into law to include more protections for the LGBT community, but many critics say those protections don’t go far enough.…

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