''[The House] seems paralyzed at times in their inability to deal with issues related to their gay and lesbian constituents.... I believe that the votes are actually there. But for a lot of folks going back to their small districts, they're so concerned about the appearance of supporting equal rights, based on no reason other than their own stereotypes.''
Stephen Skinner, of Fairness West Virginia, remarking on the inability of the state's House and Senate to take up two bills this past session that would have added sexual orientation to the state's civil rights laws. Skinner says that, in private, some legislators are giving him encouraging words, and he says there will be future efforts to bring up these bills again.
The WV Gazette reports that Democrats hold 65% of WV House seats and 82% of seats in the senate. West Virginia is usually viewed as a state dominated by blue-collar values -- supportive of the working class but also socially conservative. (Sunday Gazette-Mail)