As the U.S. House passes the Equality Act, West Virginia’s U.S. Senators Have Unique Opportunity to Lead on Comprehensive Protections for LGBTQ Americans 

Fairness West Virginia urges Sens. Manchin and Capito to take a bipartisan stand for protecting LGBTQ West Virginians from discrimination. 

CHARLESTON – Fairness West Virginia applauded the passage of the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives today and called on West Virginia’s U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito to support the landmark legislation.

Fairness joined a coalition of state, local, and national organizations last week dedicated to supporting LGBTQ people in calling on the U.S. Congress to swiftly pass the Equality Act. The legislation, introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a landmark nondiscrimination and civil rights bill that would update existing federal laws to protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. 

It has broad and deep support across political parties, demographics, and geography, including support from 64 percent of West Virginians and 68 percent of Republicans nationwide. Overall, 83 percent of Americans support protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.

Andrew Schneider, Executive Director of Fairness West Virginia, said today:

“For the 70,000 LGBTQ people who call West Virginia home, passage of the Equality Act is critical. LGBTQ West Virginians remain vulnerable to discrimination because of a lack of state and federal protections, even as 14 municipalities – from Charleston to the small city of Keyser just weeks ago – have passed local fairness laws. We’re stuck with a patchwork of protections here and in many other states, and the only remedy is a uniform federal law protecting all LGBTQ people.”

“As this bill advances, all eyes will be on West Virginia’s U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, who must rise to the occasion and cement their reputations as bipartisan leaders of good conscience by supporting the Equality Act. It’s time to live our values of fairness and freedom and at least ensure that no one here in West Virginia or beyond will face discrimination because of who they are. We urge our state’s entire congressional delegation, including Senators Manchin and Capito, to listen to their constituents, rally their colleagues, and take action. It’s time.”

In 2019, the Equality Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. It passed the House on May 17, 2019 with a bipartisan 236-173 vote. It was not voted on in the Senate.

In 2019, the Equality Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. It passed the House on May 17, 2019 with a bipartisan 236-173 vote. It was not voted on in the Senate.

Click here to send an email to Sens. Manchin and Capito to support the Equality Act.

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Fairness West Virginia is the statewide civil rights advocacy organization dedicated to fair treatment and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender West Virginians. Our mission is to ensure LGBTQ people can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community. We are open to everyone who believes in fundamental fairness.

Please direct questions to Jake Jarvis, communications manager, at jake@fairnesswv.org.