Companies back discrimination ban against gays

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Some major businesses are pushing lawmakers to update Michigan's anti-discrimination law to ensure no one is fired or denied housing because of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Among the founding members of the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition announced Thursday are AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Google.

AT&T Michigan President Jim Murray is co-chairing the new group. He says updating the 1976 Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act would ensure "ideas of basic fairness and equality" are cornerstones as Michigan pushes toward economic recovery.

Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker says Michigan's economic growth depends on keeping and attracting top talent.

Efforts to change the law to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents have failed in the Republican-led Legislature. Republicans say the religious beliefs of employers and others must be considered, too.

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