BECKLEY (WOAY)- It’s a new day, that’s what Beckley mayor Rob Rappold is saying after proposing an ordinance to the city council to ban housing & employment discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
“Beckley is a progressive city,” Rappold said. “I as mayor have an obligation to represent the entire city.”
Since the proposal, WVU Tech is backing Rappold. It’s students too.
“As a member of the WVU staff, but also in the community, our student population is very diverse,” Assistant Dean of Diversity Programs Scott Robertson. “They come from all over the country and the world and we need to be a community that’s welcoming to these students.”
“LGBTQ people are the same as everyone else they’re all people,” WVU Tech senior Daniel Falsafi.
“I have some friends here that are part of the LGBTQ community,” sophomore Jessica Beck said. “I think it’s awesome that our university is supporting it and basically saying it’s ok to be who you are.”
Four years ago, a similar ordinance was proposed. After backlash- Rappold says it was tabled. Now with 1700 WVU Students in the city, Rappold says it’s time.
“I think WVU techs arrival and 1700 students enrolled is a game changer as well.”
Now it’s in the hands of the Human Rights Commission. And then the city council will vote.
“It looks to me, just as I look across council, that there are enough votes there to pass this ordinance whenever it comes to the council table,” councilman Tom Sopher said.We have intelligent progressive forward thinking people and we’ll see how it goes,” Rappold said.