I saw this and I had to rub my eyes to make sure I wasn’t seeing thing and I wasn’t …
Earlier this week the West Virginia Senate effectively put the brakes on one of those so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts [RFRA] — HB4012 — by making significant language changes that supporters of the hate bill renders it useless.
To which I say, “Good.”
By a vote of 23-11 on Tuesday the Senate approved an amendment by Senators — both Democrats, of course — Corey Palumbo and Ron Stollings that said this new RFRA law, if passed, could not be used to invalidate anti-discrimination laws or ordinances.
And in a rare case of a Republican doing the right thing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, [right], tearfully argued in favor of the amendment, saying he feared this new RFRA would be used to discriminate against the LGBT community:
“I don’t want us to go down this path. I just don’t.”
Bravo to you, sir, bravo. Not so open-minded was Senate President, and Republican dontcha know, Bill Cole, who is running for governor and voted against the Palumbo amendment.
While the West Virginia House passed the measure by a whopping 72-26 vote, this new move by the Senate might just spell the end of this RFRA … this time … or maybe for a long time because, just yesterday, the West Virginia Senate firmly rejected the bill by a vote of 27
West Virginia is spared Hate Legislation. But the fight isn’t over, because, according to the HRC, West Virginians still remain at risk for being fired or denied a job because of who they are, or whom they love.
And yet there is good news there, too, because the people of West Virginia, the people not the politicians, when asked if they opposed any kind of RFRA legislation, a majority of 54% said they did; and 60% of West Virginians support protecting LGBT people against discrimination in employment, housing and access to public places.
Now, if we could just get the politicians to listen to the people …