Small Cities Stand Up for LGBT Rights

In conjunction with the previous post regarding the map showing which states have full on lgbt protections, there’s this story of how one small city of 28,000 in West Virginia is embracing lgbt rights because they understand what it means financially and otherwise if they don’t. People have taken notice to what happened in North Carolina when they passed that bathroom bill.

When Mike Lujano and George Lenz hoisted a rainbow flag outside their business in a Victorian brownstone on Market Street two decades ago, they found that few neighbors in socially conservative Wheeling, West Virginia, knew it was a symbol of gay pride.

The married owners of Edna’s hair salon in this faded industrial city of 28,000 at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains never dreamed that one day they would be at a packed city council meeting, cheering the passage of an ordinance barring discrimination over sexual orientation and gender identity.

Defying stereotypes in the U.S. culture wars over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, Wheeling is among a recent wave of small cities, many in parts of the country that voted for Republican President Donald Trump, to embrace these protections.

“We told people this wasn’t a bad place,” said Lujano, 53, who was in the audience when the ordinance passed in late December. “Finally, this confirmed it.”

Full story

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