Gay Rights

Curt Truc

Trey Kay has observed how things have changed significantly for LGBTQ people where he lives in New York. But he’s not sure if anything’s changed in a more conservative place like West Virginia, where he grew up.

theodoranian / wikimedia Commons

A church in West Virginia has been voted out of its local Baptist association because its pastor says gays and lesbians should be welcomed.

The Times West Virginian reports the Fairmont Baptist Association voted to disfellow the First Baptist Church in early April.

Us & Them

Not that long ago, you could get locked up for being gay. 

Steward Butler
herdzone.com

The West Virginia Supreme Court is being asked if a former Marshall University football player can be charged with violating the civil rights of two gay men he is accused of assaulting after he saw them kissing on a city street.

Secretary Karen Bowling
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

More than a year after West Virginia officials began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, state birth certificates for adopted children still list "mother" and "father" next to the blanks for parents' names.

Jesse Anderson

Across the country, there’s been sweeping change in the last few years in the way the law treats gay people - and how society in general feels about gay relationships. Here in Appalachia, the acceptance of this change has been mixed.

Americans' attitudes toward gay relationships have changed dramatically in a short time. Host Trey Kay returns to his home state of West Virginia to see how this change is playing out in a state where 53 percent of residents believe the Bible is the literal word of God.

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At the legislature today, the senate passes the Governor’s bill to reform the state’s juvenile justice system.  Senators from both sides of the aisle praise the bill they say will mend troubled kids and their families.  A public hearing this morning brings out the issue of discrimination against the LGBT community in West Virginia.  And the State Board of Education held an emergency meeting Friday to discuss  a bill they say could cause substantial harm to students, teachers, and school systems in the state.  We’ll find out more on The Legislature Today.

At the legislature today, after a high school principal resigned and faces misdemeanor charges for failing to report a sexual assault at his school, lawmakers revisit a law pertaining to that issue.  One senator lashes out at a house bill that prohibits local anti-discrimination ordinances.  And we’ll talk with the Secretary of State about election bills at this session on The Legislature Today.

Brynn Kusic

Racism and homophobia, love and tolerance--none of these are new to Appalachia. Today, we explore the stories of Appalachians who are moved to spread love, not hate.

In West Virginia, a racist hate crime shakes a community to spread a message of tolerance.

And a Kentucky songwriter’s high lonesome tune is inspired by a gay coal miner’s true story.

Courtesy of the West Virginia and Regional Historic Collection, WVU Libraries

Thanksgiving comes in two parts “giving” and “thanks.”  

This week, we’ll talk to a man in North Carolina, who’s collected over 1,000 varieties of heirloom apples.

And Layuna Rapp shares her memories of raising turkeys on her family farm in West Virginia

And we also want to take some time to hear from two young women who know what it’s like to struggle.

Troubled Youth Thankful For Youth Systems Services: Glynis Board visits the Youth Services System in Wheeling, serving at risk children and young adults.

Nyttend / en.wikipedia.org

A federal judge has put a lawsuit challenging West Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage on hold until a federal appeals court decides a similar Virginia case.

Adjutant General James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard
Dave Mistich

The National Guard in West Virginia is now granting military ID cards to same-sex spouses, ensuring that they get benefits such as health care.
 
     The Charleston Gazette  reported Friday that one ID card has been issued to a same-sex spouse at a National Guard location in Martinsburg. An application is pending at the Air National Guard in Charleston.
 
     The National Guard had been issuing the IDs to same-sex spouses only at its four federally run facilities. The five state-run guard facilities are now doing the same.

Clark Davis

The clerk of West Virginia's biggest county says she needs more time to answer a lawsuit over the state's ban on same-sex marriages.
 
     Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Charleston, asking the deadline for her response be extended past Wednesday.
 
     The New York-based gay rights group Lambda Legal sued earlier this month, declaring West Virginia's Defense of Marriage Act a violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
 

Clark Davis

The fight for same-sex marriage has come to West Virginia with a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court in Huntington. Currently the state defines marriage as between a man and a woman.  

Three same-sex couples filed suit yesterday morning in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The lawsuit seeks the freedom to marry for three couples all from the surrounding Huntington area. One of those couples is Justin Murdock and William Glavaris. Murdock said they are glad to see things start to happen.