W.Va. leaders discuss LGBTQ non-discrimination protections

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A meeting Tuesday at the West Virginia Capitol is bringing together leaders from both sides of the political aisle in a push for comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination protections.

A meeting Tuesday at the West Virginia Capitol is bringing together leaders from both sides of the political aisle in a push for comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination protections.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson County, described the roundtable as “very informative,” although he would not commit to bringing the Fairness Act up for a vote in the Senate.

Forty-four politicians across the West Virginia House and Senate have backed that Fairness Act. A version of this legislation has been introduced for multiple years, but leaders say it’s finally gaining traction.

Currently in West Virginia, someone can be fired from their job, denied housing or public benefits based on their sexual orientation.

State leaders say about 60 percent of West Virginians support this type of legislation. Twenty other states have passed comprehensive legislation like the Fairness Act, as there’s no federal protections against this type of discrimination.

Similar bills have been brought up in recent years but have not been passed through the Senate.

There are currently 12 towns throughout West Virginia with non-discrimination ordinances.