Beckley’s LGBTQ ordinance nears 11th hour

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)- We’re just days away from a vote which has the potential to imporve the treatment and rights of some of Beckley’s citizens.

The city council is gearing up to vote on an ordinance to ban housing and employment discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

“It’s a passionate issue,” Mayor Rob Rappold said.

Tuesday, January 22nd will be the second time the council reads the ordinance. The first was back on January 8th. Council voted four three in favor of adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s protected classes. Councilman Tom Sopher was one of the four.

“It’s a human rights issue. It just felt like the right thing to do.”

But there’s been opposition from some of the community, in part because of bathrooms.

The ordinance says transgender men and women have to be allowed to use bathrooms and match their sexual identity. But attorney and Human Rights Commissioner Robert Dunlap wants to clear up any confusion.

“It’s not about bathrooms,” Dunlap said. “It’s about the protections of people when it comes to employment in housing….all Moutaineers deserve to be free.”

Watch Dylan Fearon’s full report as the ordinance hits the 11th hour.


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