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West Virginia

W.Va. House scraps bills to prohibit jury discrimination against gays

Saturday, April 13, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bid that would have prohibited discrimination against gays and lesbians in jury selection in West Virginia failed in the state House.

The House of Delegates voted 38-59 Friday to defeat a committee amendment on the subject.

The bill would include sexual orientation among the factors that courts cannot use to eliminate potential jurors. Currently courts cannot ban jurors based on race, color, religion, sex, nation of origin, economic status or disability.

The amendment passed in the House Judiciary Committee earlier in the week by a vote of 17-6 over Republican opposition.

Several Republican delegates who voted against the amendment said they were caught off guard because the amendment was not closely related to the original bill. They also said they didn’t know that there was currently a problem that needed addressing.

Del. Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson, W.Va.) has offered the sexual orientation amendment to a bill aimed at disqualifying jurors who have been convicted of felonies.

Previously, Skinner has unsuccessfully sought to bar housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) re-introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act, federal legislation that would prohibit a person from being removed from a jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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13 more reader comments:

  1. Don’t want bills prohibiting hate, now do we?

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 1:58pm
  2. Of course they did, it’s Virginia after all.

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 2:06pm
  3. Any easy way to get out of jury in West Virginia. Say you’re gay!

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 2:09pm
  4. Exactly!! ^ ^ ^ :-D

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 2:22pm
  5. I make their discrimination work for me sometimes. LOL

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 2:23pm
  6. Huh?

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 3:05pm
  7. im shocked

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 3:07pm
  8. Folllow our fan page !

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 3:58pm
  9. Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 4:08pm
  10. Oh come on! I live in this god forsaken state! I HATE West Virginia and their small minded ways! No wonder why we are 50 years behind! Because of bigots and buttheads!

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 4:11pm
  11. no – never ever want to treat people like people – better to show the holier than thou and oppress people to make sure we are not able to get in show how bigots really know nothing – never want us lgbt people to come in and do the job better than them and go on facts not arrested means automatic guilty so go home

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 4:16pm
  12. Dear people, I don’t care if you are gay. Although I do not understand it, I don’t judge, nor do I care what choice you make regarding who you love. Signed, Robbie Zero.

    Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 5:43pm
  13. Stupid West Virginia House. When are they going to join the real world and get out of the hills.

    Posted on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 9:14am