Rick Snyder, the governor of Michigan, claimed that LGBT workplace discrimination is a “hypothetical” situation that is not high on his list of priorities.
The Republican politician made his remarks Thursday after several reporters pressed him to clarify his stance on extending civil liberties to the LGBT community, according to MLive.com, Michigan’s largest local media organization. To date, Snyder has remained elusive on the issue. When asked if being gay was “a good reason” to be fired, the governor responded:
“Well again, that's a broad statement, so it'd depend on the particular facts of the situation. That's a hypothetical, that's very general in that context.”
Snyder then questioned how “involved” and “active” government should be in preventing workplace discrimination, after the reporter pointed out that the situation was not hypothetical. Equality Michigan, an LGBT advocacy program, tracks at least 50 cases of such discrimination each year.
“At this point in time I've got a number of other things that I've had as priorities,” Snyder said, ending the conversation.
There are currently no statewide protections for LGBT workers in Michigan. As of this week, 29 local municipalities have added protections for LGBT workers, but the state legislature is still divided. Bills were introduced in 2009 and 2012 that would have banned employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in Michigan, but failed to pass. There is no similar legislation up for consideration in the state legislature’s current session.