74% of LGBTQ youth in Michigan reported experiencing discrimination due to either their sexual orientation or gender identity
March 8, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, celebrated the passage of The Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (SB4) in both the Michigan House Judiciary Committee and House of Representatives today. This bill would expand statewide nondiscrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law, making it the first time in over three years since any U.S. state has passed similar nondiscrimination protections.
“LGBTQ people — like all people — deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and to live life free from discrimination. By codifying non-discrimination protections into state law, Michigan brings us one step closer to creating a society where LGBTQ young people never have to fear being turned away from a business or told they cannot participate in an activity or enter a public space just because of who they are or who they love,” said Gwen Stembridge (she/her), Advocacy Campaign Manager for The Trevor Project. “We thank and honor the years of hard work of our fellow advocates, community leaders, and partners like Equality Michigan, who led the way to where we are today. Amid the ongoing legislative attacks on LGBTQ communities, especially trans youth, this proactive law is a beacon of hope and optimism.”
“Today is a big step for equality and sends a powerful message to LGBTQ+ Michiganders that discrimination has no home in our state. Michigan now joins alongside 21 other states who have sent this same message to their own LGBTQ communities and codified these protections into law,” said Erin Knott (she/her), Executive Director for Equality Michigan. “Today’s victory would not have been possible without years of hard work from generations of courageous leaders. We are witnessing a sea change toward equality, bringing us closer to a future where everyone is treated equally under the law, no matter our gender, the color of our skin, how we worship, or who we love.”
According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State, 74% of LGBTQ youth in Michigan reported experiencing discrimination due to either their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Trevor’s latest national U.S. survey found that LGBTQ youth who experienced discrimination attempted suicide at more than twice the rate of those who did not in the past year. However, LGBTQ youth who lived in an accepting community, had access to LGBTQ-affirming spaces, and/or felt high social support from family and friends reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide in the past year.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting 678678.