Mayor of Beckley proposes new ordinance that could level playing field for the LGBTQ community

Raleigh County
LGBTQ Ordinance.jpg

A change to the Human Rights Code for the city of Beckley could soon be on the table.

Mayor Rob Rappold explained the City Attorney, Bill File, was drafting a proposal. The change would give those in the LGBTQ community a means of contesting any suspected housing or employment discrimination because of sexual preference and gender identification. 

Mayor Rappold said this is a good way to keep up with the world we live in today. 

“We felt like that as a progressive city, as a progressive University city, we needed to go above and beyond and follow suit of the other cities in the state that have expanded their description of protected classes,” Rappold said. 

Danielle Stewart live in Beckley. She said many people many not realize how big the LGBTQ community is in Beckley. 

“They remain hidden because they don’t feel accepted they don’t feel tolerated. They don’t feel like they can be their authentic self out in public. So we think this ordinance is gonna go a long way towards making Beckley an inclusive place for everybody,” Stewart said. 

Scott Robertson is the Assistant Dean of Students for Trio and Diversity Programs at WVU Tech. He said the campus has given its support to the Mayor and his ordinance. 

“We need to make sure that the town that we are in also reflects the campus that we are so that those students feel welcome. Our faculty and staff feel welcome here so that we can recruit faculty and staff to our community that will better prepare our students for once they leave here,” Robertson said. 

Mayor Rappold said one of the reasons he proposed this ordinance was to keep up with other college towns in the state. He also said the next step is for the Human Rights Commission to present a formal recommendation for the ordinance to the Beckley City Council. 

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