West Virginia leaders discuss LGBTQ protections

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A meeting at the West Virginia Capitol on Tuesday aimed to bring together leaders from both sides of the political aisle in a push for comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination protections.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson County, described the roundtable as “very informative,” although he would not commit to bringing the Fairness Act up for a vote in the Senate.

Nearly four dozen members of the state House or Senate have backed that Fairness Act. A version of the legislation has been introduced for multiple years, but leaders now say it’s finally gaining traction.

Currently in West Virginia, someone can be fired from their job and denied housing or public benefits based on their sexual orientation.

State leaders said about 60 percent of West Virginians support some form of the legislation and that 20 states have passed comprehensive legislation like the Fairness Act.

Currently, 12 municipalities across West Virginia have adopted some forms for non-discrimination ordinances.