The West Virginia senator, perhaps the most conservative Democrat in Congress, said that he believes the bill should allow more local control after talking to officials in his state. The bill extends federal protections to people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“I am not convinced that the Equality Act as written provides sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it, particularly with respect to students transitioning between genders in public schools.”
The West Virginia Democratic Party was unenthused by Manchin’s remarks. In a statement, the party said “we simply cannot allow West Virginia to deny equality and protections for our LGBTQ community.”