Now that the legislative session has wrapped up, it is clear that West Virginia finds itself amid a clash of two visions.
On one side are people like Delegate Eric Porterfield, who hates the LGBTQ community so passionately he has hinted he would drown his own children if they came out to him. Standing by his side are Delegates Joe Jeffries, Dean Jeffries, Terry Waxman, Tom Fast, Zack Maynard, and Dianna Graves who cosponsored a bill with Porterfield to NULLIFY all 12 municipal nondiscrimination ordinances in West Virginia.
On the other side? We have those who are fighting for a fairer future for all.
It’s easy to feel discouraged after seeing our bills fail to come up for a vote even with overwhelming support in both chambers.
Even with a record number of sponsors in the House.
Even after we were the ONLY state in the country with a Republican Senate majority leader as a lead sponsor of nondiscrimination.
Even after every mayor of an inclusive community wrote to leadership on our behalf.
Even after dozens of faith leaders, from progressive rabbis to conservative Pentecostals, joined the call.
And even after hundreds of you called and wrote to your elected leaders.
But now is not the time to feel sorry for ourselves or give up. Actually, we’ve made significant strides this year that have brought us ever closer to the moment when we see our vision fulfilled.
It might not seem like we’ve moved the dial, but we have. And as more of you step up and speak out, we will continue to advance our cause.
We can be proud that every single anti-LGBTQ bill was defeated for the fifth year in a row, including a backdoor attempt to freeze our progress in advancing equality on the municipal level.
But make no mistake: the Porterfields of the Legislature are empowered, too. In fact, they appear more motivated than ever. They won’t be giving up after suffering so many defeats, and neither can we.
Nothing less than A FAIRER FUTURE for West Virginia is at stake.