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West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin broke with his party and spoke out against the Equality Act, saying the pro-LGBT legislation does not give enough guidance on how public schools should implement protections for trans-identified students.
As Democrats in both the House and Senate have put their support behind legislation that would amend civil rights law to make sexual orientation and gender identity protected civil classes, Manchin last week became the lone Democrat in the Senate to warn about the implications the bill could have.
Statement - Manchin - Democrat - Congress - Equality
In a statement, the 71-year-old Manchin, who is considered the most conservative Democrat in Congress, wrote that he supports equality for all people and that no one should be afraid to lose their job or housing because of sexual orientation.
But after speaking with local education officials in his home state, he is “not convinced that the Equality Act as written provides sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it, particularly with respect to students transitioning between genders in public schools.”
Sponsors - Bill - Support - Path - Forward
“I will continue working with the sponsors of the bill to build broad bipartisan support and find a viable path forward for these critical protections so that I can vote in support of this bill,” Manchin explained.
While Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has vowed to get the Equality Act passed in the House, a Democrat senator voting against it will make the bill even tougher to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Politico - Republicans - Measure - Vote - Republican
According to Politico, Republicans aren’t even expected to bring the measure to a vote, as it only has one Republican co-sponsor: Susan Collins of Maine.
Machin’s statement drew the ire of the Democrat Party in West Virginia and LGBT rights advocates.
Session - Discrimination - West - Virginia
“If this past Legislative Session didn't prove that we need to fight against discrimination and hate even harder in West Virginia then I...
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