Lansing Update
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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
October 23, 2020

  In This Update:  
  • Form Your Conscience, Vote, and Pray This Election
  • Participate in Civilize It This 2020 Election Cycle
  • MCC Expresses Concerns as Petition Moves Forward
  Form Your Conscience, Vote, and Pray This Election  
Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) encourages Catholics and people of goodwill to participate in the upcoming November election, studying the ballot carefully and voting with a well-formed conscience. There are two statewide ballot proposals to consider in addition to a wide range of candidates at the federal, state, and local levels. In some areas of Michigan, there will also be local millages or ballot issues to consider.
  • The Word from Lansing column from MCC for October highlights the call for Catholics to weigh candidate positions on issues according to their moral importance, as not all issues bear the same moral weight on our consciences. The column also talks about the need to consider candidate positions on a wide range of issues important to the Church.
  • MCC's election webpage,, offers a variety of resources to assist Catholics in the decision-making process.
  • For nine consecutive days, Monday, October 26 through Tuesday, November 3, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is encouraging participants to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be as part of an Election novena.
  Participate in Civilize It This 2020 Election Cycle  
The U.S. Catholic bishops have written that communities across the country benefit greatly when their members seek "to dismantle stereotypes and to build productive conversation" instead of to divide or attack, including during political discussions (Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship). This year, MCC encourages participation in Civilize It, a nonpartisan initiative that promotes civility and respect for one another in these conversations. Many Michiganders have taken the pledge. You can too at

NOTE: This civility pledge should also be our response in the weeks following the election, including if the outcome of the election is contested. 
  MCC Expresses Concerns as Petition Moves Forward  
Last week, a group called Fair and Equal Michigan turned in petition signatures for a statewide ballot drive to the Bureau of Elections. The group is seeking to amend the state's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), which protects Michiganders from discrimination in housing, employment, education, and public accommodations based on one's religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, and familial or marital status. The petition would redefine "sex" to include "sexual orientation and gender identity or expression." Michigan Catholic Conference has several concerns with the petition. The Catholic Church recognizes all people-male and female-are made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, all should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of orientation or identity. The petition, however, has consequences that go beyond how people treat one another. Redefining "sex" in state law-and ignoring the reality of the biological differences between men and women-will likely create significant moral, ethical, and legal challenges for the Catholic Church. The petition would also define religion as "the religious beliefs of an individual," which actually reduces the current understanding of the term under the law. While other state and federal laws also protect faith-based actions or speech in addition to religious beliefs, this definition does not. MCC will continue to monitor the proposal and share more as it continues through the process. If the signatures are verified and approved by the Board of State Canvassers, the Michigan Legislature will have the opportunity to vote on the measure before it would go before voters on the ballot in 2022.

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Michigan Catholic Conference, 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933 Michigan Catholic Conference: The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan Phone: (517) 372-9310, Fax: (517) 372-3940,