Michigan's regulator approved astate charter Monday for Superbia Credit Union that plans to becomethe first cooperative to serve LGBTQ individuals and their familiesnationally. 

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The state charter was also thefirst one to be approved in more than three decades by Michigan'sDepartment of Insurance and Financial Services. Texas was the firststate to grant a charter to the First Gay & Lesbian Credit Union in Dallasin 1988, which served 840 members and managed $525,000 in assets.FGLCU was merged out of existence in the1990s. 

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Myles Myers, founder of SuperbiaServices Inc. the organizational arm of the credit union, said in aprepared statement that the de-novo cooperative will improveeconomic equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queerpersons by removing the risks of intolerance and discrimination inbanking services that continue to plague the community in differentforms. However, there are numerous credit unions and banks thathave been welcoming the LGTBQ market for years.

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"With the operation of SuperbiaCredit Union, we are unifying the community's economic strength tobenefit all our members and ensuring an experience free from therisk of discrimination," Myers said. "We are extremely appreciativeto the Michigan DIFS for its efforts on our application and thesigning of the executive order to form Superbia CreditUnion."

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According to Myers, 10 millionto 15 million Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender or queer hold a combined economic clout of about $1trillion.

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That Superbia decided to secureits charter in the Wolverine State is somewhat ironic whenconsidering that Michigan law doesn't protect the LGBTQ communityfrom discrimination in the workplace and public accommodations,according to Michigan State Senator JeremyMoss. 

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Moss, who is a self-proclaimedpassionate advocate for the LGBTQ community and supports Superbia'smission, said, "It's burdensome that gay and trans Michigandersmust depend on private businesses to take it upon themselves toprovide equal treatment to employees and consumers."

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"Fortunately, many LGBTQbusiness owners and entrepreneurs have stepped up to specificallycater to the needs of our community, and I'm especially excited towelcome in Superbia Credit Union to Michigan as a safespace to bank and obtain lines ofcredit without fear of discrimination," Mossadded. 

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In a 2018 interviewwith the CUTimes, Myers did notreveal specifically why he chose Michigan, only saying that hechose the state based on his research and recommendations fromcolleagues.

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Superbia plans to attract newmembers around the nation through its partnership with the Centerfor LGBTQ Economic Advancement and Research, a San Francisco-basednational association. According to its website, the organization'smission is to empower LGBTQ households, organizations andcommunities with fair and equal access to financial education andservices to meet the financial needs of the under-served LGBTQcommunities.

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In addition, to raise itsnational profile the credit union has recruited award-winningactor Alan Cumming, who was named honorary chair ofSuperbia Services Inc.

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A long-time advocate for theLGBTQ community, Cumming is working with Meyers and the board tobring his experience on topics involving the community, guidecommunity engagement and inspire members around the Superbiamission. Throughout his career, Cumming has worked on behalf of thecommunity through organizations, including The Trevor Project andBroadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and he is an ambassador forOutRight, a leading international LGBT human rightsorganization.

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While the credit union's goal isto open for business in 2020, it will largely depend on whenSuperbia will be able to secure federal deposit insurance from theNCUA.

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