West Virginia kills anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ bill by huge margin

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Legislation in the US state of West Virginia which would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT people has failed.

The bill, HB 4012, was killed in the Republican-controlled Senate by 27 votes to 7.

One of many Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) style bills across the US, the legislation had become toxic despite having supposedly taken on LGBT protections.


“The defeat of HB 4012 today is a huge win for fairness and equality in West Virginia,” Matt McTighe, the executive director of Freedom for All Americans, said.

“Just a few weeks ago, this bill seemed to have a clear pathway forward; but many of the state’s leading businesses and residents spoke due to the hard work of local advocates and organisations like Fairness West Virginia, and legislators were moved to do the right thing.”

The bill had previously passed by 72-26 votes in the House.

“What the West Virginia Senate did today was to stand firm against misguided efforts to turn back the clock to a time when we look at each other as enemies,” Jennifer Meinig, Executive Director of the ACLU of WV said in a statement posted to Facebook.

“Instead, the Senate chose to see each and every one of us as part of the fabric of our society, each valued for our own individual talents and traits.”

Watch the moment WV rejected the bill: