Originally posted here by By Mandi Cardosi
Senate President Jeffrey Kessler, D-Marshall, introduced a bill Monday he has been advocating for since 2008.
Senate Bill 472, also known as Employment/Housing Non-Discrimination Act, would prohibit the discrimination in housing or employment throughout the state based on sexual orientation and was introduced by Kessler for the first time in 2008.
Kessler said the mentality of some West Virginians is keeping the state behind on the national scale.
“While I recognize and realize West Virginia is certainly not prepared to go down that road (of same-sex marriage) there shouldn’t be discrimination in employment or fair housing based on sexual orientation,” Kessler said. “It’s the same bill, same concept, that it would be unlawful in the state for anyone to discriminate against fair housing on the basis of sex or age.”
He said the state’s closed-minded individuals aren’t allowing for the Mountain State to diversify, open up and create more opportunities for its residents.
“I think it’s important to send a message that we’re way behind in West Virginia,” he said. “It’s a type of mentality that continues to hold us down and make us a lot less attractive to folks that want to live here, work here and be gainfully employed here.”
Kessler said while some residents might want to discriminate against individuals who lead a certain lifestyle, they might as well discriminate against all lifestyles that are found to be somewhat different.
Kessler became Senate President in 2011 and has been trying to get the bill through the House of Delegates for the last three years.
It has never made it to the House floor, having died in committees.
The West Virginia Senate also pass four bills during its regular floor session Monday. All four bills will move to the House of Delegates.
Among those bills included: Senate Bill 381, which would require CPR and Heimlich maneuver instructions be provided in all West Virginia public schools; Senate Bill 405, which would require a presiding judge’s permission to release juror qualification forms after a trial is concluded; Senate Bill 267, which would ensure state courts have jurisdiction of fraudulent use or unauthorized use of purchasing cards outside the state of West Virginia; and Senate Bill 435, which would correct state code references to handgun safety training for certain court employees.
The Family Policy Council faithfully influences West Virginia’s laws, lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for families and churches. Family Policy Council of West Virginia is affiliated with Focus on the Family and CitizenLink.