Newly seated governors in Michigan and Wisconsin signed on Monday executive orders against anti-LGBT discrimination as among the first acts in their new roles.
In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order ED 2019-9, which bars discrimination against LGBT people in state employment, public services and state contracting.
Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, commented Whitmer in a statement for order saying it “provides important protections for LGBTQ Michiganders and their families.”
“Employees of Michigan’s executive branch and state contractors are now protected on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, as is any person accessing programs, services, or activities the state government offers to the public,” Davis said.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order against anti-LGBT discrimination in state employment and state contracting. Evers signed the order on his first day in office.
Wendy Strout, Wisconsin state director for the Human Rights Campaign, had similar high praise for Evers for signing the order.
“Discrimination in any form is wrong, and through his actions today — signing his first executive order since taking office — Gov. Evers continues to demonstrate that he will fight day in and day out to uphold the Wisconsin values of fairness, justice and equality,” Strout said.
Michigan is one of 31 states that lack any explicit state law barring anti-LGBT discrimination, although last year the Michigan Civil Rights Commission affirm it would interpret the Eliot-Larsen Act, which bars sex discrimination in Michigan, to cases of anti-LGBT discrimination.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, was the first state to enact a law against sexual-orientation discrimination, but has never followed up with a similar anti-discrimination law barring transgender discrimination. Lawmakers have introduced legislation would ban anti-trans discrimination that is pending before the state legislature.
Whitmer’s order expands a similar order former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, signed last month with days remaining in office. However, the order Evers doesn’t have the same precursor in Wisconsin. Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed no similar order against anti-LGBT discrimination.
Incoming Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has also said she’d sign an executive order against anti-LGBT upon taking office. Her inauguration is Jan. 14.