West Virgina failed to adopt legal protections for LGBT people this year. The current legislative session ends this Saturday, but lawmakers did not act in time to move two antidiscrimination bills, SB226 and HB2045, into committee.
"For this year, it's obviously dead," said acting senate president Jeff Kessler (pictured) of the proposed legislation, which sought to protect West Virginians from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Kessler, a Democrat, was a sponsor of the senate measure and is a candidate in the gubernatorial special election.
Current state law includes protections against discrimination with regard to race, disability, and religion, in the workplace, housing, and in public accommodations. In both 2008 and 2009, the senate has passed legislation to add sexual orientation protections, but the house of delegates has never passed such measures.