Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm issued an order on Tuesday banning discrimination against gay people in state employment. The order covers the executive branch, which has about 55,000 employees--about 95% of all state workers. "The employment practices of state government should promote public confidence in the fairness and integrity of government and should reflect a commitment to equal employment opportunities," Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said in a news release.
The order bans discrimination in state employment based on sexual orientation. Michigan is the 10th state to adopt such a gay rights policy, according to the Triangle Foundation, a gay rights advocacy group. "We are overjoyed by Governor Granholm's executive directive," Triangle Foundation executive director Jeffrey Montgomery said in a statement. "The opportunities and protections this will afford gay, lesbian, and bisexual people are direct reflections of the governor's vision of an inclusive and fair Michigan and a state that appreciates and values all of its citizens." The foundation said it hopes the order will move the Michigan legislature to amend state civil rights law to extend protections to gay people. Granholm called for extending civil rights protections to gays when she ran for governor in 2002. She also called for recognition of civil unions for same-sex couples.