Sam Hall, a West Virginia coal miner who is suing a company for on-the-job harassment, spoke Monday at a rally for an antidiscrimination measure before state lawmakers.
Hall called for lawmakers to pass a measure that would add sexual orientation to the state's civil rights laws. Bills in the senate and house and would need to be advanced by committees before Feb. 27 in order to receive three full readings in each chamber. In 2009, the bill died in the house judiciary committee.
The West Virginia Family Foundation has vowed to fight the legislation.
According to the Associated Press, "Hall filed a lawsuit last year alleging verbal abuse and threats at several mines run by Virginia-based Massey Energy Co. The company has said it's investigating."
In addition to Hall, the rally at the state capitol drew acting senate president Jeff Kessler, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, also a gubernatorial candidate, was unable to appear at the rally but issued a statement in support of the legislation.
Hundreds of supporters also gathered to chant, "Stand with Sam." Watch the video.