Why is the State of Michigan Being Dubbed the “Anti Florida”?
No, this has nothing to do with the weather. Although, that's a reasonable conclusion to jump to.
I recently came across a Tweet from an account by the name of @umichvoter. They posted an article from huffpost.com that is calling the state of Michigan the Anti-Florida:
The article, which you can read here, points to LGBTQ rights as the main factor of this comparison.
Recently, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that amends the Elliot-Larsen Act. The Elliot-Larsen Act, if you didn't know, was signed into law in 1977 and prohibited discriminatory policies, customs, and practices. Specifically, part of the act reads,
The opportunity to obtain employment, housing and other real estate, and the full and equal utilization of public accommodations, public service, and educational facilities without discrimination because of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, or marital status as prohibited by this act is hereby recognized and declared to be a civil right
Read more here.
The latest amendment signed into law by Governor Whitmer extends those protections to members of the LGBTQ community.
In contrast, Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, has been actively pushing the Parental Rights in Education Act otherwise known as the, "Don't Say Gay" Law. From a time.com article, the bill would,
make it a statewide school policy to define sex as “an immutable biological trait.” Teachers would be banned from addressing students by pronouns that differ from those they were assigned at birth. Staff would also be unable to share their own preferred pronouns if they do not “correspond to his or her sex.”
And, that's just one bill.
Additionally, lawmakers in Florida want to ban discussions of menstrual cycles before the 6th grade. The law sounds even more ridiculous when you consider that the average age of the start of menstruation is 12 years old. However, they can start as young as 9 years old, well before 6th grade.
Banning conversations and education surrounding a natural, bodily function is, and this is solely my opinion, a clear sign that lawmakers introducing the bill are incredibly out of touch with reality or any sort of science-based information.
So, Is Michigan Really the Anti-Florida?
In terms of legislation surrounding members of the LGBTQ community, Michigan definitely stands apart from Florida.
Does that mean that the entire Mitten state is in agreement on this particular issue? Unfortunately not. But, again speaking solely for myself, it's comforting to live in a state where the governor isn't actively attacking who I am as a human being.
Read more comparisons from huffpost.com here.