LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Civil Rights Commission says the state's civil rights law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The board voted 5-0 to issue the interpretative statement Monday, with one commissioner abstaining. An LGBT rights group had requested the move.

Michigan Department of Civil Rights Director Agustin Arbulu says he commends the commission "for the courage they've shown in making this decision." The department will begin processing complaints of sex discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on Tuesday.

The issue may not be settled. A conservative legal group had submitted opposition from 10 Republican lawmakers who say an interpretive statement is not binding law and note that the Legislature has rejected adding more classifications to the state civil rights law 11 times since 1999.

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