Delegate John Doyle says he introduced the bill Thursday to start a conversation about family equality. The Jefferson County Democrat says that gay and lesbian couples should have the same safety net to deal with the death of a parent or the loss of a job as married couples. Fairness WV, which advocates on behalf of the gay, lesbian and transgender community, says this is the first time a civil union bill has been introduced in the West Virginia Legislature.
Delegate Doyle has also introduced legislation that would ban discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation. Sadly, there has been no movement on that bill.
The civil unions bill has little chance of passage but it's a great vehicle to start a "conversation" around equality. BTW: West Virginia is one of the relative handful of states that lacks a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The Democratic-controlled legislature has repeatedly rejected efforts to send an amendment to voters.