Following the death of Robert Byrd, the longest-serving senator in U.S. history, on Monday, the state's secretary of state determined that the governor will appoint a replacement to serve until a special election is held in 2012.
Stonewall Democrats quickly jumped into action, urging that Bryd be replaced by a pro-LGBT equality appointment. In a release and email to supporters, Stonewall Democrats executive director Michael Mitchell wrote on Tuesday, June 29:
Democratic West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin will be appointing Senator Byrd's replacement. The people of West Virginia -- and all Americans -- deserve a new Senator as dedicated as Senator Byrd. We also deserve a Senator who believes in the fundamental equality of all people regardless of sexual orientation, as Senator Byrd had come to by the end of his life.
Tell Governor Manchin to appoint a pro-equality Senator to replace Senator Byrd.
Over the course of his life, Senator Byrd’s views, like those of many Americans, evolved on the issue of LGBT equality and he stood up for LGBT West Virginians when he voted to reverse "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
West Virginia deserves better than a step backwards. Urge Governor Manchin to appoint a pro-equality Senator to fill Senator Byrd’s seat.
It is not yet known who will be selected for the appointment.