In an issued press release, Family Policy Council of West Virginia President Allen Whitt criticized a proposed Wheeling city ordinance that would restrict religious freedom. Read the full press release below:
New Wheeling Mayor Makes Good on Campaign Promise to Force LGBT Ordinance Onto Citizens
Wheeling, WV— Newly sworn in mayor of Wheeling West Virginia, Glenn Elliot, Jr., made good on the first step of his promise to force an LGBT ordinance onto the citizens of Wheeling. According to public comments, many residents and business owners believe the only purpose for this ordinance is to silence the voices of those who hold sincerely held religious beliefs and wish to operate their business according to those beliefs.
Allen Whitt, President of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia said, “In a time when West Virginia’s business owners are already struggling with burdensome regulations- Elliot, an attorney, is pushing forward with a so-called “civil right’s” ordinance that is a trial attorneys dream.
West Virginia has already begun to see the swath of destruction these ordinances can wreak on the state’s economy.
Last year, a private business owner in Charleston was sued and forced to pay more than $500,000 in total out-of-pocket expenses because she was caught between state employment law and the indefensible liability of that city’s ordinance which elevates homosexual and transgendered behavior to a level of special legal protection.
Whitt added, “Wheeling’s Human Rights Commission is the only commission in the state of West Virginia that has the authority to fine its citizens, its businesses and even some churches, thousands of dollars for simply operating according to their religious beliefs. And if you fail to pay the fines then you go to jail.”
The proposed ordinance language will be discussed in a joint meeting of the Wheeling Human Rights Commission and the city council on September 1.
“It’s clear by limiting the first draft to protections in hiring and rental properties, Wheeling hopes to avoid the bathroom controversy seen in other cities and states. The West Virginia state legislature has rejected this same language several years in a row. But the ultimate goal of all of these ordinances is to institute a new “sue and settle” shakedown scheme, so trial attorneys have a new revenue stream since high unemployment has driven workman’s comp claims down,” Whitt said.
Whitt stated the one issue that is never addressed is safety and privacy.
“They will eventually open up bathrooms, changing rooms and other private areas to predators even if they have to start slow with just an ordinance that “protects” against “discrimination” in housing and employment. The increased risk of those posing as transgendered individuals using these ordinances to prey upon our women and girls is well documented,” he added.
Whitt said that because so many of Wheeling’s citizens and those that do business there reached out, The Family Policy Council has joined the growing number of people, businesses and faith-based organizations who oppose this power grab by Mayor Elliott.
“Years of monitoring these types of ordinances in more liberal states like Washington have resulted in proof that they are not needed. Washington has had a statewide version for more than eight years and only 76 claims have been filed. That’s a state with several million people, far more than West Virginia. And of those 76 claims of “discrimination” against an LGBT plaintiff, the very left-leaning Washington courts found that there was probable cause to proceed in ZERO of the 76 claims,” he added.
“This LGBT “civil rights” ordinance is nothing more than a Trojan horse that will ultimately only benefit trial attorneys as they use new government regulations to sue good people who disagree with his views on homosexuality,” Whitt said.
On Friday, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia officially filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the mayor, Wheeling’s City Council and the Human Rights Commission asking for any emails, phone logs, meeting agenda minutes where sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression have been discussed.
About The Family Policy Council of West Virginia
The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is The Mountain State’s leading conservative policy group championing social issues. The group positively influences state laws, state lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for the state’s families and churches.