LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)-- - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive today that protects against discrimination of people in the LGBTQ community.

This directive protects LGBTQ community members to get equal opportunities when looking at state employment opportunities, state contracting or service and receiving state grants/loans.

It was signed at Affirmation in Ferndale, which is one of the largest LGBTQ community services in the state.

Gov. Whitmer says hopes this new directive creates a blue print for the rest of the country to follow.

"With a stroke of a pen, I have just put Michigan in a leadership role," said Gov. Whitmer.

Gov. Whitmer and her team stated that this was at the top of their list and is the ninth directive signed in just six days in office. 

The community showed up to witness the signing and congratulate Gov. Whitmer for signing this so early on. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist says the turnout shows just how badly this needed to be put into order.

"It means that people have been hurting, it means that there's been so much pain, so much damage that's been done by discriminatory laws and discriminatory policies. That's ending with our administration," said Lt. Gov. Gilchrist.

Jeynce Poindexter works with Equality Michigan as a transgender specialist and victim advocate. She works with families who have lost a loved one due to transgender discrimination. She says this new directive will help community members fear being killed and not given equal opportunities.

"We're going to make sure that we're going to do something to make sure that your life and it's stability, is stable. I appreciate that with my life," said Poindexter.

To Poindexter, this signing means Gov. Whitmer kept a personal promise to her that she would get to work on it.

"This is not just showing up in the space, this is here supporting people who made me a promise, and then stuck to it," said Poindexter.

The directive also requires state departments to have a "equity and inclusion officer" to educate workers about sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as handle complaints.


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