WV Senate Judiciary Advances Irresponsible Anti-LGBT RFRA Bill

We are simply worthless beings in the eyes of West Virginia politicians.

Following a late vote Friday night by the West Virginia State Senate’s Judiciary Committee to advance HB 4012, HRC and Fairness West Virginia, the statewide LGBT advocacy organization, called on the West Virginia Senate to pull back from HB 4012, the shameful anti-LGBT bill that would put LGBT people — and West Virginians of all walks of life — at risk for discrimination.

The committee vote comes one week after new polling from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, found that a 54 percent majority of West Virginians oppose a Religious Freedom Restoration Act bill (like HB 4012) that would allow small business owners to deny service to LGBT people — even for so-called religious reasons — and that a 60 percent majority of West Virginians support protecting LGBT people against discrimination in employment, housing and access to public places.

“Freedom of religion is part of our DNA as a country, which is exactly why it is already protected by the First Amendment. HB 4012 won’t protect our freedom, but instead will put all kinds of West Virginians at risk for discrimination. This includes even allowing a person to use HB 4012 as a defense against child abuse, or allowing a pharmacist to argue he is not required to provide birth control,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “The Senate should stop this reckless and irresponsible bill in its tracks and ensure that everyone, including LGBT people, can live free from fear of discrimination in West Virginia.”

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