STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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Last month, lawmakers in North Carolina passed House Bill 2 - controversial legislation that blocks transgender people from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity, and stops cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people.

The law has sparked backlash among advocacy groups, and the public.

Online payment company PayPal called off plans to open a new global operations center in Charlotte.

And Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in the state in protest of the law.

As you start your week, you can take or look – or listen – at some of Michigan Radio's recent coverage of LGBTQ rights below:

1. Michigan senator: "Common sense" transgender bill protects cisgender children

Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, spoke with Stateside about a bill he plans to introduce that would require Michigan students to "only use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their birth" sex unless they have "written consent from a parent or guardian." You can listen to the full interview here.

2. Transgender advocate on school guidelines for LGBTQ: These are kids' lives, not political issues

The Transgender Advocacy Project coordinator for the ACLU of Michigan spoke with Stateside about optional guidelines proposed by the Michigan State Board of Education to create a safer space for transgender students. You can listen to the interview here.

3. The unnecessary debate over bathrooms

Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry  talks about state Senator Tom Casperson's plan to introduce a bill requiring Michigan students to "only use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their birth" sex, unless "they have written consent from a parent. You can listen to the full essay here.

4. Feds investigate Michigan school district for transgender discrimination

The Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education is currently investigating whether Bedford Public Schools in Monroe County is violating Title IX, which prohibits discrimination – including discrimination against transgender students – by only allowing them to use gender-neutral bathrooms, and not the bathroom of the sex with which they identify.

5. Transgender professor sues Saginaw Valley State University for alleged discrimination

Charin Davenport is suing Saginaw Valley State University and her former supervisor, Ann Coburn-Collins, for illegal sex discrimination. The suit claims Davenport’s administrative job at the school was abruptly eliminated after Davenport told her supervisor she planned to transition to life as a woman.

Do you have anything to add to the conversation? Let us know in the comments section below.

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