Council Pushes WV to Add LGBT Protection to Hate Crime Law

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) – 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.

Currently, the state’s hate crime statute only protects citizens from being targeted based upon their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation or sex.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams says the resolution was spurred on by his LGBT Advisory Committee.

Williams says the city considered enacting its own hate crime ordinance, but couldn’t since the state doesn’t include sexual orientation in its hate crime statute.