CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., became the 52nd senator to sign on as a co-sponsor of a bill that would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation.
"The fact that discrimination is tolerated anywhere in our country needs to be addressed once and for all," Rockefeller said in a statement emailed by a representative.
"The integrity of our nation, and our ability to be a credible global leader on human rights, means that all people must be treated equally under the law."
This is not the first time Rockefeller has supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; he also voted for a measure that contained the same provisions in 1996. He also co-sponsored a similar bill in 2003.
"Rockefeller's co-sponsorship validates the work of Fairness West Virginia and our mission to advocate for the fair treatment of the more than 57,000 LGBT West
Virginians who call the Mountain State home," Fairness Executive Director Casey Willits said in an emailed statement.
Though there are some cities with local non-discrimination ordinances, there is no similar law at the state level. Gays and lesbians can be fired or denied housing in most parts of West Virginia because of their sexual orientation.