LGBT

theodoranian / wikimedia Commons

An organization opposing a West Virginia city's newly reinstated human rights commission ordinance has obtained enough signatures on a petition to place the issue back on the city council's agenda.

theodoranian / wikimedia Commons

At the U.S. Capitol and in most statehouses nationwide, supporters of LGBT rights are unable to make major gains these days. Instead, they're notching victories in seemingly unlikely venues, such as Morgantown, West Virginia, and Birmingham, Alabama.

Kids in Circle
Monkey Business

Updated Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 12:06 p.m.

A Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter in West Virginia will suspend mentoring services for underprivileged children after donors pulled funding earlier this month in response to an LGBTQ-awareness training program.

Wood County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

A city council in West Virginia has voted against a nondiscrimination ordinance that would have extended protections to LGBT residents.

Kyra Soleil-Dawe, Kyra, The Struggle to Stay
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Last week, we met Kyra Soleil-Dawe, a 20-year-old aspiring theater director and playwright who lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

“And this place is so beautiful," Kyra said, "how would you ever wanna leave it? And I hope that I’m not the only one that sees that, I hope that I’m not the only one that sees that there’s something really incredible happening here.”

Wikimedia commons / Brandon W. Holmes

Wheeling has become West Virginia's 11th city to pass a policy protecting the housing and employment rights for LGBT citizens.

The Wheeling City Council voted 7-0 to establish new anti-discrimination protections in the city's human rights ordinance based on sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status on Tuesday.

Cecelia Mason / Shepherd University

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights were the topic of a public forum Tuesday morning at Shepherd University. Speakers at the event said West Virginia has come far in accepting LGBT people but not far enough.

Dozens of community members, Shepherd faculty, students, and alumni attended the discussion Tuesday on LGBT rights.

An aerial view of downtown Parkersburg.
Yassie / wikimedia Commons

A group in Parkersburg has launched a campaign to pass a city ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that the group met with representatives from civil rights organization Fairness West Virginia on Monday to discuss how to get the city to pass such an ordinance.

courtesy Fairness West Virginia

This story was updated March 2, 7:40 pm: House Bill 4012 died on a 7 to 27 vote by the West Virginia Senate. The bill, known as the Religious Freedom Protection Act, would have established a process for courts to follow when people or businesses claimed that government action was infringing upon their religious beliefs.

17-year old Davis Kimble, a young activist who had spoken out against the bill earlier this week, had this response to the Senate's decision:"I think this serves as a victory for not only minorities across the state, but also for passionate community leaders who stood up and made their voices heard. It's a shame we had to fight this fight, but it shows a willingness on the part of our state legislatures to hear the people's voices and do what's best for the state and its wonderful people."

Huntington, Ohio River
Youngamerican / Wikimedia Commons

Huntington City Council has approved a resolution to urge West Virginia lawmakers to include protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under the state code dealing with hate crimes.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the council unanimously approved on Monday the resolution, which is to include protection for individuals based upon the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of a person.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Martinsburg City Council is considering an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in both housing and employment. The state of West Virginia does not provide these protections to the LGBT community although lawmakers have introduced bills for several years that would do so.

Because of the lack of support at the state level, members of Fairness West Virginia, an LGBT rights group, have spent the past year or so calling on cities to pass these protections. At the Martinsburg meeting Wednesday night, members of the community were heavily divided.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the Martinsburg City Council are expected to take up an ordinance Wednesday that will prohibit discrimination against the LGBT community in their city.

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Update: Late Friday afternoon, the House Government Organization Committee postponed indefinitely further consideration of House Bill 2881.  The last day for committees to pass bills is Sunday, March 1, 2015.

The West Virginia House of Delegates held a public hearing on HB 2881 on Friday morning. The West Virginia Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act would prohibit cities and counties from enacting or enforcing non-discrimination laws that do not already exist on the state level.

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.

Fairness WV

The LGBT advocacy organization Fairness West Virginia held their annual conference in Charleston Saturday and this year, the group had plenty to celebrate. 

After saying he would no longer fight an appeal to the state's gay marriage ban, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's decision essentially made the practice legal in the state and on Oct. 9, county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples across the state.

Fairness Executive Director Andrew Schneider said Saturday that's certainly something to celebrate, but the fight isn't yet over. Now, the organization is looking on to its next legislative battles. 

West Virginia Department of Transportation

 Two transgender women say they were ordered to remove their makeup, jewelry and wigs at West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles offices if they wanted new driver's license photos.

Trudy Kitzmiller says employees at offices in Martinsburg belittled her, calling her a genderless "it." Kristen Skinner described similar treatment in Charles Town.

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund last month wrote state transportation officials to ask for new photos for the women. The letter said denying them a new photo would violate constitutional free speech rights.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Grow Ohio Valley is a new non-profit looking to help revitalize Wheeling. A new gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender center on North Eisenhower Drive in Beckley hopes to encourage communication between them and the  gay population of the southern part of the state. Also, the West Virginia Public Theatre looks back as it begins its 30th season, while its founder considers stepping away.

WVGLCC

There are several organizations in West Virginia that advocate on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. Now, a new center in Beckley hopes to encourage communication between them and the gay population of the southern part of the state.