Joe Manchin to vote for LGBT non-discrimination bill - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Joe Manchin to vote for LGBT non-discrimination bill

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Fairness West Virginia announced Oct. 30 U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., plans to vote for the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

"We are proud to see Sen. Joe Manchin standing on the right side of history and standing up for the values of equality and fairness," Fairness West Virginia Executive Director Casey Willits said.

Fairness West Virginia is the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization.

"His support on ENDA is a huge victory for Fairness West Virginia, and we thank him for his leadership on this critical issue," Willits said. "Senator Manchin has sat down with many LGBT West Virginians time and time again, and heard firsthand the stories of the harm inflicted by discrimination."

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., co-sponsored the legislation.

According to a New York Times reporter, Manchin was the last Democrat to agree to voting for the bill, so its supporters are now one vote shy of avoiding a filibuster.

The act, if passed, would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, nonreligious employers with at least 15 employees.

Similar bills have been introduced for decades.  A bill in the West Virginia Legislature was defeated in the 2013 regular session.