In February, coal miner Sam Hall recounted that, because of his sexual orientation, he received threats, vandalism, and a litany of verbal mistreatment while working at Massey Energy Co.—all of which is okay in West Virginia because sexual discrimination is not outlined in its antidiscrimination law.
West Virginia’s existing civil right law protects against race, religion and disability discrimination, but a sexual discrimination provisions have never been able to pass at the House. This legislative year, two bills meant to protect against sexual discrimination were proposed in West Virginia, but ultimately failed to be taken up in their relevant committees in time for the legislation to pass. So the legal harassment of the LGBT community will continue for another year.
One of the main oppositions of the bill to pass is West Virginia Family Foundation (WVFF), which publicly stated that the bills promote “deviant behavior.” WVFF’s crusade against equality and civil rights isn’t new. In 2009, WVF released a video in support of state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.
Title: With Support From Anti-Gay Foundation, West Virginians Can Sexually Discriminate For Another Year Source: thinkprogress.org, 3/14/11
Author: Paul Breer
Student Researcher: Cameron Cleveland, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: James Dean, Sonoma State University