West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael is against a proposal to explicitly bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Republican said in a statement Tuesday, Jan. 14.
Carmichael had taken a neutral stance on the bill after drawing criticism for meeting with a group of activists about the legislation. He now says the current bill doesn't do enough to protect religious liberties.
"In my view, this legislation must do more to allay the justifiable fears of good Christian people regarding the usurpation of their religious liberties," he wrote. "We must always protect our religious freedoms and the worth of every person."
Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia, an activist group pushing for the bill, has said the state should pass the measure to signal that the state is a welcoming and inclusive place.