Skubick: On LBGT rights, top Mich. officials still waffle - KMSP-TV

Skubick: On LBGT rights, top Mich. officials still waffle

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - While the Snyder team was gloating last week about challenger Mark Schauer not having a specific plan to fix the roads, now comes the Lt. Governor who refuses to take a stance on extending civil rights  to the gay community.

“I’ve not pulled up or studied or looked at the issue yet,” explains Brian Calley “so I don’t have a position for you today.”

Expanding the Elliot-Larsen civil rights act to include the LBGT community has been around for years and despite four years in the legislature and three as l.g., he's got nothing.

Gov. Rick Snyder reports he has no position either.

He and his Brian Calley remain focused on “getting the roads done, the budget done and a better environment for jobs in our state,” as Mr. Calley echoes the same line from his partner.

Mr. Calley does concede that “Discrimination is bad under any circumstances…so I think it’s an important debate…”  But his critics contend not important enough to move up the agenda.

That will be of little consolation to the LGBT community which does not experience the same rights as everyone else namely,  they can be fired from a job, denied housing or public accomdations because of their sexual orientation.

Enter this debate the state’s GOP Attorney General Bill Schuette.

His office was asked what his stance was on this civil rights question?

The first email response from his team while he was out of town offered this:  “This is an issue for the governor and legislature and I will fulfill my duty to defend and enforce the constitution and our laws."

It was an interesting response that gives the impression that the A.G. does not enter legislative debates preferring to let the governor and lawmakers tackle that stuff.

But when Mr. Snyder tried to set-up a Michigan program to administer the Obama administration's health care program, Mr. Schuette was not bashful about adding his two cents to the debate which included  opposing what his governor wanted to do.

And when lawmakers tried to clean-up the voter approved Medical Marijuana law, there was Mr. Anti-Marijuana up to his eyeballs trying to shape that package of bills, too.

So which is it?  Does he get involved or does he pick and choose when he does and on this hot potato he chose to stay at arms length?

In a follow-up email on the gay rights question a reporter suggested that the first response did not answer the question on his personal stance and by the next day, Mr. Schuette was on the horn with an “amplification” of the original comment.

So the conversation began, do you support including the LGBT community under this law?

“Nobody should be discriminated against in housing, or employment or public accommodations and we need to make sure we respect the rights of the faith-based organizations and religious values,” he offered.

Well that sounded like a yes and reasonable men and women might make that inference but the A.G. would not go that far.

Asked several times if he favored the expansion, he consistently referred back to the comment.

“The statement speaks for itself,” he asserted.

Meanwhile the LGBT community continues to mark time awaiting what it terms equal treatment under the law, and a majority of citizens think they should get that now.

There is inside word that after the November elections, this measure will pass and they expect the governor’s support at that time.

At this time, forget it.

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