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Media Alert: W.Va. House Democrats issue statement on EHNDA legislation

From the W.Va. House Democrats: 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Today, for the second time in the past week, a Democratic member of the House of Delegates attempted to move legislation that would prohibit discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Delegate Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio

House Bill 2733, Adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the categories covered by the Human Rights Act, was introduced on January 30, 2019, and referred to the House Committee on Industry and Labor and the Committee on the Judiciary.  This legislation, commonly referred to as EHNDA (Employment/Housing Non-Discrimination Act), is one of six EHNDA bills that has been introduced this session in the House of Delegates.


Following a debate on local nondiscrimination ordinances in the House Committee on Government Organization last week, Delegate Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio, moved to discharge the legislation from the Committee on Industry and Labor during the floor session of the House of Delegates on Thursday. His motion was voted down on a party line vote.


“Discrimination remains alive, well and legal in our state thanks to the Republican leadership’s decision to allow rhetoric and bigotry to run amok while a bill to ensure fairness in housing and employment has intentionally been buried in the committee,” Delegate Fluharty stated.  “Their inaction speaks louder than any words uttered this past week.”

Delegate Amanda Estep-Burton, D-Kanawha.


Today, during the morning floor session of the House of Delegates, Delegate Amanda Estep-Burton, D-Kanawha, a freshman member of the House, moved to revisit the motion in order to begin the discussion on this important nondiscrimination legislation.  Her motion was also defeated on a party line vote.


“I am trying to uphold my oath of office to all West Virginians,” Delegate Estep-Burton stated.  “This is not a political issue- this is a human rights issue,” she said.  “I encourage House Leadership to support EHNDA legislation so that we can end discrimination in West Virginia!”


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