Thursday, January 21, 2016

Daisy Elliott, Detroiter behind civil rights law, dies

From The Detroit News:

Daisy Elliott, an African-American civil rights advocate and former Michigan representative who helped push through a landmark law aimed at protecting against racial bias as well as other forms of discrimination, has died at age 98, friends and family announced late Tuesday.

The Detroiter spent 18 years with the Michigan House of Representatives, becoming “an effective and eloquent civil rights advocate, especially for workers, education, senior citizens, women, and minorities,” relatives said in a statement. But she perhaps was best known for authoring and co-sponsoring the historic Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

The Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act is Michigan's anti-discrimination law. Passed in 1976, it prohibits discrimination on the basis of "religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status" in employment, housing, education, and access to public accommodations. The law is named for its two primary sponsors, Daisy Elliott, a Democrat from Detroit, and Melvin L. Larsen, a Republican from Oxford. It was signed into law by Michigan Governor William Milliken on January 13, 1977 and went into effect on March 31, 1977.

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