Beckley City Council passes LGBTQ ordinance


A city council in West Virginia has passed an ordinance that some consider controversial. 

The Beckley City Council passed the LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinance 4 to 2 on Tuesday, January 22. 

The first hearing of the ordinance drew hundreds inside the walls of the Beckley Raleigh County Convention Center on Tuesday night.

Fairness West Virginia board member, Danielle Stewart, and other supporters believe this a nod towards diversity without discrimination.

“This is a step forward economically that we can take that says, ‘We are more diverse than what you think,'” Stewart said.  “We want everyone here and we want to be the future of Beckley.”

However, Family Policy Council of West Virginia president Allen Whitt says otherwise. He and others who oppose arguing the ordinance is addressing a nonexistent issue in Beckley.

“We don’t have any documented episodes of so-called discriminations against LGBT people,” Whitt said. “So there’s no need for it.”

The ordinance ended up passing with a narrow margin of 4-3.

“There was no need for this type of ordinance to be even considered,” Whitt said. “Many of the citizens are going to be disappointed.”

“I think the city council has done the right thing,” Stewart said. “If nothing else, we have two more weeks now to discuss this, get out facts instead of the fiction.”

The ordinance moves on to a second hearing, which is scheduled for January 22.

This ordinance does not include churches, church-affiliated non-profits or private clubs. If council members vote in favor of the ordinance on Tuesday, January 8, they will have a second reading and public meeting on Tuesday, January 22, at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. 

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