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Council Receives LGBT Fairness Presentation

By Staff | Aug 10, 2016

New Martinsville City Council was given a presentation on LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) rights at its Monday, Aug. 1 meeting.

Council was addressed by Andrew Schneider, the director of West Virginia Fairness.

Schneider said there are no laws currently in place protecting citizens over their sexuality.

“We believe that the state is more attractive to those who live here, as well as those who would consider moving here, if these laws are in place,” Schneider said.

He noted that there are laws in place to protect against race, gender, and religion, but not sexual orientation.

The presentation involved examples of West Virginians who were allegedly discriminated against because of their sexuality. Due to the lack of laws, Schneider noted, there was not any protection for those people.

Schneider gave an example of a coal miner who had been bullied, even having his vehicle tampered with, allegedly due to the basis of his sexual nature. The worker, feeling as though he had nowhere to turn for help, eventually left his job and moved out of the state.

“What we are ultimately trying to do is to get the state to adopt a LGBT law,” Schneider said.

In the meantime, ten cities within the state have adopted LGBT ordinances, including Parkersburg, Charleston, and Morgantown.

“When I was in the industry there was a process to go through if there was some kind of discrimination issue,” New Martinsville Steven Bohrer said. “My question is, why do we need (an ordinance)? It’s like admitting we have a problem when we don’t think we have a problem”

“You don’t want to wait until you have a bad reputation. You want to prevent the situation before it occurs,” Schneider said.

No decision was made on the matter. However, it was agreed that Schneider would send copies of other ordinances to the mayor for reference.

In other city matters, there has been a clean-up schedule released. Citizens may bring items to discard in a roll-off dumpster. Dates have been set aside for each of the city’s ward, with a location noted as to where the dumpster will be located for the first two wards. Locations for Wards Three thru Six will be announced Sept. 6.

Ward One: Sept. 2-3, Marina

Ward Two: Sept. 9-10, City complex

Ward Three: Sept. 16-17

Ward Four: Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

Ward Five: Oct. 7-8

Ward Six: Oct. 14-15

Citizens are asked to not place garbage in the roll-offs. Also, brush should be placed in a small bundle and tied with a small rope. Items that are not accepted include refrigerators, perishable food (should be placed with garbage material), tires, paint cans (only if top is removed), liquids of any kind, and batteries. Electronic devices are accepted and there will be a tire disposal drive on Oct. 1 at Bruce Park.

In another matter, the decision was made to store a fingerprint scanner, for local law enforcement, in the municipal building. It was also agreed to pay half of the yearly maintenance costs.

Council also approved the hiring of Brittany Young as a dispatcher.

It was also noted that there will be a ceremony to mark 15 years since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 at New Martinsville’s fire hall. The event will occur Sept. 11, 7 p.m.