Mercer County Delegate: Residents should be able to deny housing to gays

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia delegate says residents should have the freedom to fire or deny someone housing based on their sexual orientation.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports Republican Del. Eric Porterfield of Mercer County spoke out Wednesday in favor of a bill that would limit what ordinances cities are allowed to enact.

The bill was proposed by Republican Del. Tom Bibby, whose city recently passed an ordinance adding LGBTQ discrimination protections to its code, as have nearly a dozen other cities.

Porterfield said it’s not a legislator’s job to legislate behavior, adding that LGBT groups are “socialists” who do not protect gays. He told the committee “We cannot allow discriminatory bigots to determine how our citizens are going to live.”

Other delegates condemned his statements. Porterfield declined the newspaper’s request for comment.

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