This Week, Republican Lawmakers in Two States Rejected Anti-LGBT Discrimination

By Adam Polaski • March 2, 2016 • 6:47 pm

It’s been a big week for the national movement to secure comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination protections – a week marked by Republican lawmakers in conservative states decisively rejecting attempts to codify discrimination against LGBT people.

On Tuesday, March 1, in an enormous victory for the values of privacy and dignity that all Americans hold dear, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed invasive legislation that would have irreparably harmed transgender children in the state. The bill, HB1008, singled out transgender students for discrimination by prohibiting them from using the restroom that matches the gender they live as everyday. If it had passed, it would have been the first law of its kind anywhere in the United States.

Freedom for All Americans has been proud to work  this year with our state and national partners, including the ACLU of South Dakota, on the campaign to defeat HB1008. Through our States Action Team, we supported lobbyists on the ground in South Dakota, provided strategic communications guidance and digital content, and channeled thousands of messages to the governor urging him to veto.

Read more about this victory in South Dakota here.

And on Wednesday, March 3 in West Virginia, the Republican-controlled Senate overwhelmingly voted to reject HB4012, which would have codified discrimination by allowing any business or individual to cite their religious beliefs as an excuse for denying services to other West Virginians. The bill was strongly opposed by LGBT organizations (led by Fairness West Virginia), women’s groups, and by other religious minorities.

Freedom for All Americans applauds Fairness WV – and all of the organizations, businesses, and individuals who took a stand against discrimination – on this important win.

Read more about this victory in West Virginia here.

It’s been a tough legislative session – but we’re still not out of the woods yet. Several other states – including Missouri, Georgia, and Mississippi – are considering extreme anti-LGBT measures, and they too must be stopped. Only then can we begin advancing forward, toward proactive non-discrimination measures that will ensure that no one in the United States faces discrimination because of who they are or who they love.

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