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Rouch World v. Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights

Case Challenging State's Interpretation of Nondiscrimination Law

Key Date: February 13, 2020
Status: Undergoing Briefing in Michigan State Court
Type: Public Accommodations Discrimination

Case Overview:

Rouch World v. Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights is a case filed in Michigan state court concerning discrimination based on sexual orientation in places of public accommodation. The case was filed against the Michigan Department of Civil Rights by a private park and wedding venue in Michigan who denied service to a same-sex couple because of their sexual orientation. The venue argues that the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act doesn’t protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, contrary to the position of the state civil rights agency and the state’s attorney general.

Latest in the Case:

The case was filed on February 13, 2020 against the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

Case History:

  • January 30, 2019: The Michigan Civil Rights Commission announces that it will authorize investigations into anti-LGBTQ discrimination brought by Michigan residents in light of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ interpretation that the state’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on “sex,” also covers discrimination based on LGBTQ identity.
  • February 13, 2020: The private company Rouch World files a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and its interim director after the Department investigated a complaint of anti-LGBTQ discrimination. A same-sex couple said that Rouch World refused to allow them to rent the park and wedding venue. The lawsuit challenges the state’s interpretation of the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act and argues that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is not prohibited by the law.

Last Updated May 11, 2020


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