New Equality Michigan Chair Talks LGBT Rights in Trump Era

Jake Neher/WDET

Jim Murray (right) with Stephen Henderson (left)

This week the group leading the political charge for LGBT rights in the state, Equality Michigan, elected a new chairman of its board. That man is Jim Murray, the president of AT&T Michigan.

Murray is also a Republican, and he pushed members of his party in the state Capitol to consider expanding rights for gay people in the state. Murray says Michigan needs to become more friendly toward LGBT working professional.

We don’t want the best leaving because they don’t have protections in the state.”

There has been a push for many years to get equal civil rights protections for LGBT people in the state, but the move to include that community in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act has been unsuccessful thus far. In recent years, the measure failed with Republican objection to including the group of people represented by the T in LGBT — transgenders.

It’s an interesting time to fight for LGBT rights, and to be a Republican led by a Trump administration that has at times waffled on issues of gay-rights.

Murray says the chance of reviving the debate over LGBT protections in the state may be slim with the current political climate.

It’s going to be difficult,” says Murray. But, he says, it’s important to be prepared for political winds to shift. 

There’s always a deal to be made somewhere… you just don’t know. You’ve got to be ready to go.”

To hear more from Murray on Detroit Today with host Stephen Henderson, click on the audio player above.


Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

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