Vet Voices

‘It Concerns Me’ Councilwoman Responds To WV Transgender Bill

Ohio County

Wheeling, WV (WTRF)- Wheeling City Councilwoman Rosemary Ketchum is speaking out about a bill she claims is unfair.

Just a day ago, the West Virginia House passed a bill that requires athletes in middle and high school to compete on teams based on their sex at birth.

Meanwhile Ketchum, who is a transgender, believes the federal government must ultimately step in.

Rosemary Ketchum calls bills like this unfortunate.

If the bill does go through, she fears it will only trigger a stigma trans people already face when it comes to a sense of belonging.

She says sports is one of the best ways to feel that type of belonging and says this bill would make that challenging.

While the House did just pass this bill at the state level, Ketchum points out the city of Wheeling passed a non-discrimination ordinance to protect LGBTQ people here 5 years ago.

But unfortunately, she doesn’t believe that would play into protecting trans kids who play sports and has concerns with how fair this bill really is.

“So, many of our West Virginia kids deserve to play on the field, deserve to play sports, and West Virginia is known for our sports. So, if we take a subsection of our population, and say ‘ you are not allowed to participate. You don’t belong here.’ I mean what does that say about our identity, and who we are as West Virginians? It really does concern me.”

Rosemary Ketchum, Wheeling City Council member Ward 3

Meanwhile she hopes the state would step in and pass the Fairness Act, and ultimately, believes that may require federal intervention.

Ketchum’s talking about including LGBTQ people in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. She says only then will the LGBTQ community get full representation and protection across the nation.

Ketchum also mentioned Dr. Rachel Levine who’s the new confirmed assistant health secretary at the federal level.

Levine is transgender, and Ketchum says it’s powerful that Levine’s representing a community that’s incredibly underrepresented.

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