For years, Dow Chemical Co. has wanted to be a workplace with a good culture for LGBTQ employees.
In 2018, for example, when Jim Fitterling was named Dow's chairman and CEO, he became the first openly gay chief executive in the petrochemical industry. For more than a decade, Dow's been recognized for creating LGBTQ-positive environments. It has celebrated court cases recognizing same-sex marriage.
Now, it's working in Michigan's Legislature to codify that acceptance into state law.
Our sibling publication Crain's Detroit Business writes that Dow is part of a business coalition lobbying the state Legislature to "update the state's anti-discrimination law to protect LGBTQ residents, saying it is the right thing to do but also good for business."
A representative of the business groups told lawmakers that putting it in state law would send a clear message that "Michigan gets it, that we are a state where everyone is welcome."
Or, as Fitterling said in this 2021 Plastics News article explaining why support is also important to Dow's bottom line: "If we're going to be the most innovative, we have to be inclusive."
Crain's Detroit says Michigan's Supreme Court ruled last year that references to "sex" in the state's civil rights laws apply to sexual orientation as well as gender, but the businesses say they want a change in the law as insurance in case a future state Supreme Court changes its mind.