LEWISBURG, W.Va. — A nondiscrimination ordinance in Lewisburg will be expanded to provide protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Members of Lewisburg’s City Council unanimously approved the additions in the early morning hours Tuesday following a public hearing, lasting five hours, that drew hundreds of people.
The hearing was held at the Roland P. Sharp Alumni Center at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
“It basically says that we’re an open and inclusive community,” Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline” of the main point of the proposal.
The full proposed ordinance can be read here.
“It principally comes down to public accommodations and there also is a concern about freedom of speech and freedom of religion concerns that have been brought to our attention,” Manchester said of what had become a controversial proposed ordinance.
“I think that council has been listening very carefully to people’s concerns and it’s become a statewide issue as well.”
Similar ordinances are already in effect in several West Virginia cities, while proposals are pending in both Martinsburg and Charles Town.
There is no statewide ordinance offering such LGBT protections.