Patrick Morrisey joins lawsuit to roll back LGBTQ protections

CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey this week joined a group of other Republican attorneys general across the country to file a federal lawsuit seeking to roll back protections for LGBTQ West Virginians.

The group of 20 attorneys general filed the suit in a Tennessee federal court on Monday. They seek to stop Pres. Joe Biden’s administration from protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in various areas of life.

“Once again, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey dragged our state into an expensive lawsuit that only seeks to harm the very West Virginians he swore to protect,” said Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia. “All Mountaineers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and this lawsuit can only harm all of our LGBTQ friends, neighbors, and colleagues who just want to live free from discrimination.”

The Supreme Court ruled in June of 2020 that LGBTQ people are protected from employment discrimination. The court looked at existing federal laws which protect employees from sex-based discrimination and found those provisions also protect employees from anti-LGBTQ discrimination. 

The decision means that no employer can unfairly fire someone just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision, written by a conservative Trump-appointed justice, has helped countless West Virginians. Morrisey’s lawsuit seeks to stop the federal government from fully implementing the decision in regards to other areas of federal law.

“I believe the courts will continue to build on the landmark Bostock ruling to further protect LGBTQ people, but in the meantime, Patrick Morrisey needs to remember his job is to protect all West Virginians,” Schneider said.

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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, transgender and queer 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.