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Events Outside of the Morgantown Area

Time to Lobby For a More Inclusive Human Rights Act
Monongalia County’s Delegate John Williams is a co-sponsor of HB 4319 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the categories covered by the West Virginia Human Rights Act. CCSJ and other groups have lobbied for this in many different sessions of the legislature, and more than a dozen cities across the state have added these protections to local ordinances, but it is still legal elsewhere in the state to discriminate based on these categories. The brief summary of the bill is “A BILL to amend and reenact §5-11-2, §5-11-3, §5-11-4, §5-11-8, §5-11-9 and §5-11-13 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §5-11A-3, §5-11A-5, §5-11A-6, and §5-11A-7 of said code, all relating to unlawful discriminatory practices in categories covered by the Human Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act; prohibiting discrimination based upon age and sexual orientation; or gender identity and defining sexual orientation and gender identity.” You can find the full text here. The bill has been referred to the House Industry and Labor Committee with a subsequent reference to the House Judiciary Committee. You can track its status here.
The Democrat co-sponsors, in addition to Delegate Williams, are Delegates Mike Pushkin (lead sponsor and a member of the Industry and Labor Committee), Tim Miley, Dana Lynch, Chad Lovejoy, William Hartman, Riley Moore, and Philip Isner (minority vice- chair of the Industry and Labor committee). The Republican co-sponsors are Delegates Ron Walters, Steve Westfall, and Joshua Higginbotham. You can find contact information for all delegates at here.

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