What’s In A Word? How ‘Sex’ Could Reshape LGBTQ Rights in Michigan

Should Michigan extend civil rights protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity?

Bre’Anna Tinsley/WDET

Issues affecting the LGBTQ community have made statewide and national news this week. President Trump tweeted about his intention to ban transgender people from serving in the armed services. And a state civil rights board is considering a request to use a more broad definition of the word “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity. 

WDET’s Jake Neher and Michigan Public Radio’s Cheyna Roth talk about how those issues fit into a larger debate about LGBTQ rights here in Michigan.

Roth talks about the economic implications of more inclusive civil rights policies and laws in Michigan.

“Business people… they’re coming forward and they’re saying, ‘hey look, if we want to bring people to the state, if we want to portray ourselves as a welcoming place, a place that you want to bring your business and spend your money, then we need to be inclusive to all people,'” says Roth.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.
  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.