Local LGBT Advocate Responds to Sen. Manchin

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Not everyone is impressed with Senator Joe Manchin’s statement on the Equality Act that he chose not to endorse.

“I strongly support equality for all people and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. No one should be afraid of losing their job or losing their housing because of their sexual orientation. After speaking with local education officials in West Virginia, I am not convinced that the Equality Act as written provides sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it…”

Manchin was the only Democratic senator to not sign onto a bill that would add LGBT protections to the civil rights act of 1964 and the Fair Housing act of 1968. He also did not support a similar bill in 2017.

“It’s very disappointing, and [so is] the lack of leadership coming from Charleston,” said board member of Fairness W.Va. Danielle Stewart. “Senator Manchin had a real opportunity to step up and speak for equality for West Virginians. Instead, he stepped up to the podium and locked arms with the likes of Delegate Porterfield.”

Stewart said most West Virginians want to protect LGBT rights. For example, various localities have passed ordinances protecting the LGBT community. Because Manchin chose not to support the bill, Stewart believes he is not representing the state accurately.

Manchin will working with the bill’s sponsors in hopes that it becomes something he feels he can support.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.