Sam Hall is a West Virginia coal miner, who is also an out gay man, and he is suing Massey Energy Co. for on-the-job harassment, verbal assaults and threats.
Sam spoke at a rally for an antidiscrimination measure, calling on lawmakers to pass a measure that would add sexual orientation to the West Virginia’s civil rights laws. There are bills in the senate and house now, but they need to be advanced by committees before February 27 in order to receive three full readings in each chamber. In 2009, antidiscrimination bills died in the house judiciary committee.
Hall spoke at the rally, which was also attended by acting senate president Jeff Kessler, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate; Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, also a candidate for governor, was unable to attend, but issued a statement in support of the legislation.
And hundreds of supporters chanted “Stand With Sam.
Of course, the West Virginia Family Foundation vowed to fight the legislation. which is their right. And I give them their right to dislike homosexuality and gay people and gay couples and, well, all things gay. But to actually fight against legislation that would make it illegal to assault and threaten another human being simply because that person is gay, is reprehensible.
So, down here in Smallville, I stand with Sam.