Let community anti-discrimination laws stand

An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The oddly titled West Virginia Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, House Bill 2881, would invalidate anti-discrimination ordinances on the books in municipalities throughout the state, including Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, and the tiny town of Thurmond.

How would this improve intrastate commerce?

According to Delegate Lynne Arvon, R-Raleigh, one of the sponsors, “[t]his legislation is merely an opportunity to bring uniformity across the State of West Virginia, so that citizens and businesses are not subject to arbitrary ordinances that vary from municipality to municipality.”

But imposing uniformity on municipalities is something the GOP quite rightly rejects when it comes to other areas of policy.

Most of the time, the Republican party is the one that more readily recognizes a basic reality: Different communities have different values and priorities.

 “Urban areas are just different than rural areas,” Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, a Republican, said recently in explaining the Capital City’s anti-discrimination statute. “It was just an expression of our feeling about citizens that live here.”

Much of the GOP’s legislative agenda reflects a healthy desire for more local control…

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