Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette said in an opinion issued Friday that the state's civil rights law does not extend to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

In May, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission approved a motion that interprets sex discrimination protections in Michigan's nondiscrimination law, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976, to include discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, making it the first commission of its kind to adopt such an interpretation.

Schuette, who is vying for the Republican nomination for governor, deemed the interpretation “invalid,” saying that the commission had overstepped its authority, The Detroit News reported.

“[The interpretation is] invalid because it conflicts with the original intent of the Legislature as expressed in the plain language,” Schuette said in his 19-page opinion.

Lonnie Scott of Progress Michigan told the Detroit Free Press that Schuette's opinion “means LGBTQ Michiganders still can be fired from their job and denied housing and public services.”

“[Schuette] is siding with discrimination and bigotry,” he added.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, was among the 38 LGBT organizations that backed passage of the commission's motion in May.

“Bill Schuette is unfit to serve as Attorney General, and this latest outrageous act proves once again that he cannot represent all Michiganders equally and fairly,” said HRC Michigan State Director Amritha Venkataraman. “AG Schuette has chosen to ignore legal precedent and leave thousands of LGBTQ Michganders at risk of discrimination. Numerous federal courts have determined that discrimination against an individual based on their sexual orientation or gender identity is fundamentally a form of sex discrimination – which is prohibited both under federal law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Michigan’s Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act.”

Schuette faces three candidates in the August 7 Republican primary for governor.