Town of Bethany Becomes the 19th WV Community To Protect LGBTQ+ People From Discrimination

BETHANY, West Virginia — Members of the Bethany Town Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to become the 19th community in West Virginia to adopt a local fairness law.

Local fairness laws are nondiscrimination ordinances that protect LGBTQ+ residents from discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces. Bethany was the first municipality in the state to adopt these protections in 2024.

“Bethany is a welcoming community, and last night’s vote proves that to the rest of the world,” said Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia. “Bethany’s  leaders stepped up to protect their LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors, and they proved yet again that no community is too small to welcome everyone.

Less than 1,000 people live in the community of Bethany, a town located in Brooke County that is also home to Bethany College. Bethany is the first community in that county to adopt these protections.

“Our state lawmakers have failed year after year to adopt a statewide law to protect all LGBTQ+ people from discrimination,” Schneider said. “No statewide protections means landlords can continue to evict gay tenants and businesses can continue to refuse to serve them with little to no consequences. Until our state lawmakers pass the Fairness Act, it’s up to cities and towns like Bethany to protect their communities.”

The Fairness Act is a commonsense proposal to ensure all LGBTQ+ people across the state, no matter their zip code, are protected from discrimination. If any community member is interested in bringing a local fairness law to their community, contact Fairness by emailing info@fairnessw.org to get started.

###

Please direct questions and interview requests to Jack Jarvis, Communications Director, at 304-730-9458 or jack@fairnesswv.org

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.