State governors in Michigan and Wisconsin moved to protect LGBTI state employees this week.
Both signed executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Michigan and Wisconsin are two of nearly 30 states in the US that offer no LGBTI discrimination protections.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday (7 January) signed an order protecting employees of the executive branch and state contractors.
‘If we’re going to attract the talented workforce our businesses need to create jobs and grow our economy, then we’ve got to get on the right side of history,’ Whitmer said in a statement. ‘That’s what this executive directive is all about.’
Importantly, Whitmer altered her predecessor’s order by removing exemptions for churches and religious organizations.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers also signed a similar order on Monday.
Advocacy group Human Rights Campaign’s Wisconsin State director Wendy Strout welcomed the move.
‘Governor 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.
The Equality Act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was first introduced to the House in 2015.
If passed, it would outlaw discrimination against LGBTI citizens in work and services across the country.