West Virginia lawmakers reject amendment to protect LGBT Uber passengers

Members of the West Virginia House of Delegates have overwhelmingly rejected an amendment that would bar Uber drivers from discriminating against passengers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  The amendment was attached to a bill that granted the company a license to operate in the state.

The amendment was defeated by a vote of 65-27.  Opposition was led by Del. Tom Fast, who voiced his fear that, “it is a dangerous thing to elevate as a protected status a characteristic that is a chosen characteristic.”  He also outlined a “slippery slope” argument often employed by opponents of LGBT rights.

A similar amendment failed in Oklahoma last year.  Following the votes, Uber has stressed that it has a company-wide nondiscrimination policy aimed at protecting LGBT passengers, as well as drivers, from discrimination.

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