WEST VIRGINIA: State Sen. Craig Blair Introduces Bill To Nullify All Local LGBT Rights Ordinances

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports:

A Republican lawmaker introduced a resolution on Saturday to amend the state Constitution to prevent cities and towns from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances that extend protections to the LGBT community.

Sen. Craig Blair, the Majority Whip, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 13, which would prohibit a city or town from adopting any ordinance that creates a protected classification not contained in state law.

The West Virginia Human Rights Act contains protections based on race, religion, sex and several other characteristics, but does not include protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Because the state has not added LGBT protections to the Human Rights Act, eight cities and towns in West Virginia have taken it upon themselves to adopt ordinances that extend protections to the LGBT community.

Blair said he introduced the resolution so that companies doing business in West Virginia would be subject to the same nondiscrimination laws.

He represents Berkeley County, where Martinsburg became the eighth municipality in West Virginia to enact an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance earlier this month.

Blair says that he’s “astounded” that the bill would be perceived as anti-LGBT. (Tipped by JMG reader Michael)