RIGHT IS RIGHT
State Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) has lent her support and her voice to a lawsuit by a LBGT rights group that is alleging Covid-19 social distancing has made it impossible for them to collect the required amount of petition signatures for them to qualify for the November ballot with their proposal to add non-discrimination protections to Michigan law. “I just thought it was really important during Covid that democracy continue and that people could get signatures during this extraordinary time,” Manoogian said. Attorneys for Fair and Equal Michigan asked the Michigan Court of Claims in late May to either reduce the state’s required number of signatures or waive the traditional 180-day collection period. Currently under the law, Fair and Equal Michigan is required to collect 340,042 signatures, of which they said they have 135,402 signatures they believe are valid of 177,865 collected. They are asking the court to lower the required amount to 127,518 signatures, proportional to the length of time they could collect signatures before the state shutdown. “The situation is during collection time, we were in ‘Stay home, stay safe,’” Manoogian explained. “The lawsuit is that the law would apply fairly to these folks.” On June 10, the Court of Claims ruled Manoogian did not have standing as a plaintiff, and Fair and Equal Michigan could have more time to get petition signatures.