FWV Statement on Del. Ty Nestor’s use of homophobic slurs
Charleston, West Virginia — A sitting member of the West Virginia Legislature, Del. Ty Nestor, reportedly harassed and intimidated a member of the ACLU of West Virginia staff over the phone on Friday night. On the call, Nestor, R-Randolph, allegedly used homophobic slurs and threatened violence against the staff member. Hours before that call, the Legislature held a public hearing on House Bill 3042, the License to Discriminate Bill.
Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia, released the following statement about the incident:
“There is absolutely no place for hatred and bigotry in our Legislature. Del. Ty Nestor’s behavior last week debases the office he holds, and he should resign. If he won’t, then the House of Delegates should, at the very least, censure him. The Speaker should also remove him from his committee assignments.
Will any of that actually happen? Probably not. We’ve already seen how Speaker Roger Hanshaw and other members of House leadership respond when their members get caught using anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
In 2019, then-Del. Eric Porterfield hinted that he would drown his own children if they ever came out as gay. What did leadership do? Nothing. In 2020, then-Del. John Mandt got caught using homophobic slurs and disparaging fellow Republican legislators. What did leadership do? Again, nothing.
Not long after Porterfield called LGBTQ people the ‘modern-day version of the Ku Klux Klan,’ Mandt called our community the ‘alphabet hate group.’ Still nothing. I’m sure this incident with Del. Nestor will be no different.
The silence from Speaker Hanshaw says it all — slurs and discrimination are welcome in the people’s house. Legislative leaders should wake up to the fact that ignoring this bad behavior is dangerous. The silence only encourages more harmful rhetoric, and it tells legislators that using slurs is fine — as long as they’re homophobic.
The people of West Virginia are fed up with lawmakers embarrassing our state. Del. Nestor wasn’t the first, and he certainly won’t be the last. But Mountaineers must understand that legislative leaders aren’t going to fix this. The only way we’re going to get people like Del. Nestor out of office is if we vote them out ourselves.”
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