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On March 7, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (covering Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee) ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against transgender people under the category of sex.It also ruled that employers may not use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to justify discrimination against LGBT people.Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U. state of Michigan may face legal challenges not faced by non-LGBT residents.Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Michigan, as is same-sex marriage.On May 21, 2018, the Commission interpreted the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act as banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity through the category of sex.The Commission voted 5-0 to interpret existing anti-discrimination laws as including both categories.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette hit back at the decision, accusing the Commission of overstepping its authority.
In December 2012, the Michigan Court of Appeals, an intermediate-level court, ruled in Usitalo v.
Landon that the state's courts have jurisdiction to grant second-parent adoptions by same-sex couples.
In July 2018, Schuette said that the decision is "invalid because it conflicts with the original intent of the Legislature as expressed in the plain language of the state's civil rights law".
The Commission subsequently reiterated its support for the decision, and the Department of Civil Rights announced that it would continue to investigate discrimination complaints based on sexual orientation and gender identity.