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Anti-discrimination bill fails before it's considered in WV House

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -

 

With same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, supporters are signaling defeat for the latest House of Delegates bid to add sexual orientation to West Virginia's anti-discrimination laws.

Delegate Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson, cited concerns March 27 that the proposal's religious exemption would be amended so broadly it would make the bill meaningless.

Skinner that a House committee not take up the measure ahead of a Friday procedural deadline.

Skinner is West Virginia's first openly gay legislator. He thanked supporters but also said he cannot soothe the conscience of sympathetic lawmakers too afraid to vote for the bill.

Opponents include Delegate Kelli Sobonya. The Cabell County Republican said she disagrees with anti-discrimination laws. Sobonya also said some constituents object for religious reasons.

A Senate proposal remains idle in committee.

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