A West Virginia House committee on
Wednesday approved a bill which seeks to outlaw municipalities from
adopting ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity.
A public hearing on the West Virginia
Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act (HB 2881) will be held on Friday
after the bill cleared the House Government Organization Committee
with a 16-8 vote.
If approved, the bill would reverse
anti-discrimination ordinances approved by lawmakers in towns and
cities across the state.
“Since towns and cities began
adopting LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances throughout West Virginia,
LGBT West Virginians have been encouraged to come out of the shadows
to lead happy, open lives in their communities,” Fairness West
Virginia Executive Director Andrew Schneider said in a statement.
“H.B. 2881 would turn the clock back on this progress and tarnish
West Virginia's reputation as a welcoming place to live and work.”
A similar bill recently became
law in Arkansas without Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson's
signature. Hutchinson also declined to veto the bill.