EDITOR'S NOTE: The legislature did not meet this week; it is scheduled to meet Aug. 12. Rather than votes, this Roll Call Report describes some current proposals related to gender.

House Joint Resolution T: Repeal constitution's recognition of marriage as only between one man and woman

Introduced by Rep. Jon Hoadley (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to repeal a provision of the Michigan constitution approved by voters in a 2004 ballot initiative that states the following: “To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purposes."

The bill is cosponsored by 20 House Democrats and accompanied by a 28 bill package eliminating gender references that are not neutral from state statutes.

House Bill 4688 and Senate Bill 351: Expand civil rights law "protected class" status to sexual orientation and “gender expression”

Introduced by Rep. Jon Hoadley (D) and Sen. Jeremy Moss (D), respectively, to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the characteristics that define membership in a protected class, against whom it is a crime to discriminate under the state’s Elliott-Larsen civil rights law.

This would make it a crime to deny employment, housing, use of public accommodations, public services, and educational facilities to another person on the basis of an individual’s assertion of a particular sexual orientation or gender identity.

Note: A coalition of big business and other interests including the Consumers Power regional utility monopoly and the Business Leaders of Michigan group are funding an initiated law petition campaign to put this proposal before voters on an upcoming ballot.

House Bill 5499: Mandate “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” training in public school sex education classes

Introduced by Rep. Rachel Hood (D), to mandate that public school sex education classes address issues related to “sexual orientation” and “gender expression and gender identity,” and also must “explore the harm of negative gender stereotypes.” The bill would explicitly prohibit “instruction or materials that teach or promote religious doctrine.”

Senate Bill 503 and House Bill 4720: Authorize new birth certificate based on gender assertions

Introduced by Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D) and Rep. Rachel Hood (D), respectively, to permit an individual who asserts a gender identity different than the one on their birth certificate to get a new birth certificate that reflects this.

Senate Bill 284 and House Bill 4515: Ban “conversion therapy” on minors

Introduced by Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D) and Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D), respectively, to prohibit a mental health professional from engaging in “conversion therapy” with a minor, defined as a “practice or treatments that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity including efforts to change behavior or gender expression” and more.

Senate Bill 593 and House Bill 5193: Add sexual orientation and "gender identity" to ethnic intimidation law

Introduced by Sen. Adam Hollier (D) and Rep. Tim Sneller (D), respectively, to add gender identity and sexual orientation to a state ethnic intimidation law that authorizes penalties for intimidating or harassing another person because of that person's race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. The law authorizes up to two years in prison and triple damages in lawsuits for violations.

SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit MichiganVotes.org.