Voices for Freedom

Discrimination is wrong—period. That’s why across the state, Michiganders are speaking out in support of updating the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect gay and transgender people from discrimination. Business leaders, people of faith, grassroots activists, LGBT Michiganders and their allies all agree it’s time to modernize Michigan law. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do and it’s how we can ensure Michigan remains on the cutting edge of innovation.

An unexpected voice argues that RFRA will harm children the most
Tamya McGee • Detroit Tamya McGee is determined to advocate on behalf of children who are in need of loving and caring homes. That’s why she has grown increasingly alarmed with a new piece of legislation, an adoption-specific RFRA bill, over concerns that this bill could be used by foster agencies to use their religion as an excuse to deny prospective parents the ability to provide homes to children in need—purely on the basis of the parents’ sexual orientation or gender identity.
Shocked, heartbroken and humiliated
The Contreras Family • Detroit If these RFRA-like laws pass we’re scared of what’s ahead for our family. This time it was a pediatrician refusing to care for our six-day-old. But, where does it end? Our daughter deserves access to the same resources as every other child in Michigan. This time, she was 6 days old, I just pray that next time she’s not six years old and asking us why she’s being treated differently because of what our family looks like.
It’s not just wedding cakes, how RFRA will harm our communities and economy
Roland Leggett • Detroit Detroit resident Roland Leggett has spent most of his life in the state of Michigan, but he’s growing increasingly concerned with a new bill making its way through the state legislature—the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)—because of the huge unintended consequences that this bill could have on our communities and state economy.
Good for Business, Good for Michigan Families
Shelley Padnos • Douglas Shelley Padnos is the Executive Vice President of PADNOS, a multi-million dollar company that employs nearly 400 people in Michigan. Both as a business leader and a lesbian, Shelley knows that passing an inclusive bill to update the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act will strengthen Michigan's economy.
How an Anonymous Letter Almost Derailed the Career of an Accomplished CEO
Nancy Schlichting • Detroit In the workplace, most people agree that employees should be judged solely on their qualifications and ability to perform their job. So imagine the horror Nancy Schlichting must have felt, then a chief operating officer at Riverside Hospital, when an anonymous letter was sent to 23 members of the hospital board and the administrative staff outing her as gay.
Drawing Upon his Faith, this Pastor Shares Why He Supports Updating the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act
Wes Granberg-Michaelson • Grand Rapids Wes Granberg-Michaelson of Grand Rapids, Michigan is the general secretary of the Reformed Church of America, and as both a Michigander and a pastor, is adding his voice to support a fully inclusive update to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect gay and transgender people.
A Military Vet Faces Discrimination in the Workforce
Denise Brogan-Kator • Detroit Denise, who has had an incredibly successful career as a lawyer and LGBT rights activist, is well-acquainted with the discrimination that LGBT people face. Having been fired for being transgender not once, not twice, but three times, Denise’s story, and many like hers, are all too familiar in Michigan.
For This Detroit Business Owner, Fairness Is Good for Business
Joe Lentine • Detroit “My dad always taught me that diversity was a strength. For him it wasn’t about where you were from or what religion you were, it was about whether you could do the job."
A Mother of Two Gay Sons Shares Her Journey Towards Acceptance
Harriette Cook • Greenville Like many Michiganders, Harriette’s support for equality has come after a years-long journey, which started when her sons came out to her and her husband shortly after they left for college.