December 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Michigan’s Democrat Attorney General Dana Nessel has announced her intentions to appeal a Court of Claims ruling that state discrimination law does not require companies to serve same-sex unions.
The Detroit News reports that the case concerns the Sturgis wedding venue Rouch World, which had declined to host a same-sex “wedding”; and Marquette business Uprooted Electrolysis, which denied service to an “individual transitioning from a man to a woman,” both for religious reasons.
The Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) forbids discrimination on the basis of “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status,” The Hill notes. While the Michigan Civil Rights Commission interpreted it to extend to sexual orientation and gender identity in 2018, Judge Christopher Murray ruled Monday that the law did apply to gender identity but not to sexual orientation.
“If defendants determine that a person treated someone who ‘identifies’ with a gender different than the gender that he or she was born as, then that is dissimilar treatment on the basis of sex, and they are entitled to redress that violation through the existing (Michigan Department of Civil Rights) procedures,” he wrote. But he also determined that “sex” could not be taken to mean “sexual orientation” according to a 1990 Court of Appeals precedent.
“I respectfully disagree with the Michigan Court of Claims on its ruling in this case as it relates to sexual orientation,” said Nessel, invoking the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous decision this summer in Bostock v. Clayton County, which redefined “sex discrimination” in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to add sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to its original biological meaning.
“We intend to submit that all Michigan residents are entitled to protection under the law – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation — in our appeal to this decision,” she declared.
Nessel’s appeal would first go to the Court of Appeals, and potentially up to the Michigan Supreme Court after that, which would have a Democrat majority by the time the case is heard.
Michigan’s first “married” lesbian leader, the pro-abortion Nessel is no stranger to opposing the religious rights of Michiganders when they conflict with her left-wing values, from Catholic media organizations to religious adoption agencies. Last year, her office announced it was creating a database of “hate and bias incidents” that did not rise to the level of crime or civil violation — i.e., lawful speech and other activity deemed “hateful” by the state.