By Associated Press - Thursday, January 14, 2021

KEYSER, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia now has 14 cities that have adopted local fairness ordinances protecting LGBTQ residents from discrimination, a civil rights advocacy group said.

The Keyser City Council voted Wednesday night to adopt such an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces for any class of people, including sexual orientation and gender identity, Fairness West Virginia said in a news release.

Keyser, located along the Maryland border in northeastern West Virginia, has about 5,000 residents.

In 2017 the state Supreme Court ruled that the state’s hate crime law does not cover anti-gay assaults.

“Our state still has no statewide law that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination,” said Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia. “That means landlords can evict gay tenants and businesses can refuse to serve them with no consequences. Until our leaders pass the Fairness Act, it’s up to cities like Keyser to protect their community.”

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