Meanwhile, In WV

Indiana style gay bashing bill is advancing:

A controversial bill that proponents say will restore religious freedom but opponents say will weaken local nondiscrimination ordinances is up for a vote in the House of Delegates on Thursday.

The West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which opponents are calling the “License to Discriminate” Act, was on second reading in the House of Delegates Wednesday.

Three amendments, offered by Democrats, failed. One amendment, offered by Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer, passed. It would limit the amount that could be paid to those who would file lawsuits as a result of the legislation.

House Bill 4012 establishes a legal process for courts to follow when determining whether a person’s religious beliefs have been violated. Because the bill allows people and businesses to argue in court that local nondiscrimination ordinances, among other laws, shouldn’t apply to them, civil rights advocates warn the bill could lead to discrimination against LGBT individuals, as well as other historically discriminated against groups.

Shott’s amendment removed language that would have allowed claimants to sue for compensatory damages, and limited relief to injunctive or declaratory relief and reimbursement of costs and reasonable attorney fees. It passed on a voice vote.

Another amendment resulted in a debate, with Republicans opposing more power for local governments — an argument that Delegate Isaac Sponaugle, D- Pendleton, called hypocritical.

The amendment would have removed “and local” from the section of the bill that states “this article applies to all state and local laws,” in an effort to protect the seven cities and towns in West Virginia with nondiscrimination ordinances that extend to the LGBT community from lawsuits.

Sponaugle said that many in the Legislature “beat their desks” and say “darn that federal government.”

“Well, we come down here and act like hypocrites,” he said. “We look down our nose at these municipalities… Let’s try to be consistent in our opposition to things.”

Not that this bill is needed, because apparently WV clerks are going the Kim Davis route and speaking their minds:

Brookover and her partner, Amanda Abramovich, wanted a marriage license. They got one, along with an earful from a deputy clerk in the office, who told them that their relationship is wrong and that God will judge them.

Brookover and Abramovich had expected maybe an eye roll or some sign of disgust. They said they weren’t anticipating that they would be told they were “an abomination.”

“It just takes one person to remind you how closed-minded our world is,” Brookover said.

Debbie Allen, the deputy clerk who processed their marriage license, and another deputy clerk who was there, Angela Moore, disputed some of the allegations from the couple and Brookover’s mother, Jill Goff, who also was there. They disagree on how loud Allen was and whether the word “abomination” was used, although Moore said she couldn’t hear everything.

“I was working on what I was supposed to be doing and, honestly, I didn’t care to make eye contact with them,” Moore said.

The clerks don’t dispute that Allen told the couple that what they were doing was wrong and that they would be judged, but they also stressed that they did not view the statement as an “attack.”

“We did not attack them,” Allen said. “We did not yell at them. We were not aggressive with them. I felt I talked nicely to them.”

Brookover and Abramovich, though, say Allen huffed, took their driver’s licenses, made copies, slammed down the copies and then, for two to three minutes, yelled that what they were doing was wrong in her eyes and in God’s eyes and that no one in Gilmer County would ever marry them.

The couple had brought family members. They had the camera ready. It was supposed to be a happy day. Instead, in Brookover’s words, they were “flabbergasted and hurt and angry like you wouldn’t believe.”

Allen said she briefly and calmly told the couple what they were doing was wrong and that God would judge them, and then continued assisting them as she would other couples.

“I just told them my opinion,” she said. “I just felt led to do that. I believe God was standing with me and that’s just my religious belief.”

Because what WV really needs is bible humpers killing our tourism industry, which in 2010 (last figures I could find) generated $4.2 billion dollars and was responsible for 44,000 jobs. Coal only has a 3 billion dollar impact, to give you a comparison.






57 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Because what WV really needs is bible humpers killing our tourism industry, which in 2010 (last figures I could find) generated $4.2 billion dollars and was responsible for 44,000 jobs.

    Serge and I will be thinking twice now about where we’ll go to see a mountain with its top removed, you better believe that.

  2. 2
    Ex Libris says:

    West Virginia, Indiana, Kim Davis’s Kentucky – careful when you drive through as fast as you can to get somewhere else – kind of a Bermuda triangle where brains have been known to vanish mysteriously.

  3. 3
    AnonPhenom says:

    Yeah, but coal only gives them global warming, black lung and poisonous drinking water. Teh Gay gives them and baby jesus the heebie-jeebies icky-willies.

  4. 4
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    “HotelsCombined, a hotel booking site, produced an infographic that shows the most popular US states to travel to. They analyzed more than 87,000 hotel bookings that originated in the US to determine which states are the most popular tourism destinations.

    After California, Florida (No. 2), Nevada (No. 3), Texas (No. 4), and New York (No. 5) dominated over this list. Hawaii came in at No. 10 and Colorado took No. 16. But very few people want to travel to West Virginia, which came in dead last.

  5. 5
    WereBear says:

    The most rudely I have ever been treated was in the small Indiana town my mother grew up in. We asked a Staples sales clerk where the closest bookstore was, and her response was a flat, “You’re not from around here, are you?”

    As my mother began to relate that she originally was from here, the woman spun around and walked off.

    I’m so glad my mother got us out of there. As she stated, later that day, “They just won’t let you live.”

  6. 6
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    To be fair, that survey was done before West Virginia introduced their “Take The Waters” Chemical River campaign.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: @Just Some Fuckhead: A shit ton of our tourism is outdoor activities- hiking, camping, rafting, which would not impact hotel travel, as well as a lot of day trips for foliage in the fall, festival of lights at Oglebay, and what not. So no, a lot of people don’t want to travel to WV to stay in a hotel.

    So go fuck yourself with your attempt at WV bashing.

  8. 8
    Steve from Antioch says:

    Interesting comparison there, Mr. Cole, between the value of coal and tourism industries.

  9. 9
    slag says:

    “Let’s try to be consistent in our opposition to things.”

    So many layers.

  10. 10
    jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    White water rafting is big business in WVA. I warked with a nice young lady who was from there. Her father was a white water guide.

  11. 11
    Chyron HR says:

    Bob Denver must be rolling in his grave. :^(

  12. 12
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: Don’t forget about ATV Tourism for when you need a little noise and air pollution to go with your river and stream pollution.

  13. 13
    chopper says:

    you’d think the brother-and-sister wedding industry would keep chugging along.

    i kid, i kid.

  14. 14

    I always wonder just what these asswipes think they’re going to do by telling gay people they’re going to hell. “Oh, really? I’m going to go to hell? Well, I guess I’d better stop being gay, then. Thank you so much for your help, ma’am!”

    All these people are doing is getting off by intimidating and abusing somebody because they can. Asswipes, all of ’em. And I’ll also point out that any god that would send otherwise kind, decent, loving people to hell because of whom they choose to spend their lives with isn’t worth bothering with.

  15. 15
    Hal says:

    “I was working on what I was supposed to be doing and, honestly, I didn’t care to make eye contact with them,” Moore said.

    The clerks don’t dispute that Allen told the couple that what they were doing was wrong and that they would be judged, but they also stressed that they did not view the statement as an “attack.”

    “We did not attack them,” Allen said. “We did not yell at them. We were not aggressive with them. I felt I talked nicely to them.”

    Evangelical Christians are some of the most full of shit people on earth. Mean, rude and full of hatred they love to mask with a stray bible verse they thinks negates all of their nastiness. Preachers who make millions while hosted thousands in muti-million dollar mega churches, all the while screwing up the world for everyone they don’t like while they patiently wait for the rapture, sure they will be off to heaven. Assholes.

  16. 16
    Missouri Buckeye says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Bob Denver must be rolling in his grave. :^(

    I didn’t realize Gilligan was from West Virginia.

  17. 17
    RobertB says:

    The WV Legislature is letting its freak flag fly. I’ve seen mentions of that law, a Right-To-Work law, a law to force drug testing of Welfare and Medicaid recipients, and a law allowing concealed carry without a permit. I grew up down there, and I miss the mountains, but I don’t think I could go back and face daily doses of that.

  18. 18
    Anoniminous says:

    I’m glad to see these Christians are obeying the 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Be a Bigoted Asshole.

  19. 19
    chopper says:

    @Missouri Buckeye:

    chemical waste must have been gilligan’s secret to keeping his pants so white.

  20. 20
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I went to the New River Gorge Bridge Festival in 2010. I’m not a sociologist but all I could keep thinking is what is it about West Virginia that makes these people want to jump off of a bridge?

  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    A controversial bill that proponents say will restore religious freedom but opponents say will weaken local nondiscrimination ordinances is up for a vote in the House of Delegates on Thursday.

    What’s next? A “Take Your Bigot to Work” holiday?

  22. 22
  23. 23

    In other news, an Iranian official is saying that Republicans–he didn’t say which ones–asked Iran not to let the Americans they were holding go until after the presidential election. This is from an Iranian who works in their government, so it’s worth maybe holding off until something else turns up, but on its face, there’s no reason to think Republicans wouldn’t have done this. After all, they did try to get Iran to give up negotiating with us last year.

  24. 24
    Anoniminous says:

    @Missouri Buckeye:

    Almost heaven, Gilligan’s Island …

  25. 25
    amk says:

    life’s priorities. wv’ians have got them. in spiteful.

  26. 26
    Punchy says:

    I heard they added an amendment to disallow transgendered folk from using the outdoor hole-in-the-ground thats not consistent with their birth gender.

  27. 27
    greennotGreen says:

    I retired last year from a private university, a major regional medical and biomedical research center, in the buckle of the Bible belt. Because what matters in biomedical research is your brain and not what church/temple/mosque/synagogue you do or do not attend, religious intolerance is absolutely forbidden. And I suspect it’s forbidden in public offices as well. Can you imagine if a couple showed up at a clerk’s office to get a marriage license and the Opus Dei clerk saw that one of them had been divorced? Well, he or she is obviously going to hell and should be warned. What if they have different skin colors or speak different languages? Didn’t God separate people at the Tower of Babel? Shouldn’t the clerk point this out?

    The clerk may not care what the rest of the country thinks about the state, but the state government should. Such clerks should learn to mind their on business or they need to be relieved of their duties ASAP.

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    Allen said she briefly and calmly told the couple what they were doing was wrong and that God would judge them, and then continued assisting them as she would other couples.

    “I just told them my opinion,” she said. “I just felt led to do that. I believe God was standing with me and that’s just my religious belief.”

    I hope the HR manager feels “led” to write that nitwit up and add a warning to her employee file. She has the religious freedom to entertain whatever moronic fantasies she chooses but no standing to lecture members of the public coming in to get the services they pay for via taxes.

  29. 29
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): George Bush the Elder? He’s the one who made the same request in 1980.

  30. 30
    Shell says:

    “I was working on what I was supposed to be doing and, honestly, I didn’t care to make eye contact with them,” Moore said.

    She probably believes that the Gay is contagious.

  31. 31
    Dork says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: gay bashing? At first glance, I thought it said gay brushing. Didn’t see the issue, ’cause god knows, whether it’s hair or teeth, they’ve seemingly outlawed that in WV for all sexual orientations.

  32. 32
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: the point isn’t comparative advantage. It’s that tourism is one of a small number of things bringing money into the state.

  33. 33
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Dork:

    ’cause god knows, whether it’s hair or teeth, they’ve seemingly outlawed that in WV for all sexual orientations

    We had some friends go Orange Water Rafting in West Virginia last year and they said it was wonderful as they pulled clumps of hair out and picked at mysterious open sores on their skin.

  34. 34
    Capri says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: “Very few people want to book a hotel in WV” is not the same as very few people wanting to travel to WV as tourists. When I think of the state, I think of camping and outdoors activities. Looking at hotel reservations probably way underestimates the number of tourists that visit the state.

  35. 35
    singfoom says:

    @Hal: This dynamic is exactly why I had to leave the state of Kansas. I think the phrase “I will pray for you” in response to an answer explaining you’re not a believer is one of those most condescending annoying phrases in existence.

    I cannot understand what these idiots think they are accomplishing. These laws are blatantly unconstitutional and will get challenged and turned over, so why waste the time and effort legislating them?

  36. 36
    Face says:

    What percentage of campers are gay or gay-supportive? I’m not sure the camping clique is going to care if Cathy Cupcakes refuses to provide icing for Bill and Ted’s Wedding desserts. However, if large corporations decide to pull the plug and jump ship, then the state is truly fucked. Because once they’re out, public pressure will prevent companies from ever starting up shop there. It’ll be a one-way bleed of tax money out of the state. Of course, I’m sure God and prayer will pay their bills for them.

  37. 37
    Mike J says:

    Tue fact: 90% of tourists to WV are there to spend the night in a haunted house to claim an inheritance.

  38. 38
    eldorado says:

    this is what the full on version of gfy is for.

  39. 39
    Paul in KY says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: That’s one of your better ones! Well played.

  40. 40
    HinTN says:

    Here in the Great State of Tennessee our legislators have decreed that the State is the foundational building block of governance, thereby absorbing themselves of the hypocrisy of the Legislature overriding municipal non-discrimination laws fully enacted in the non-rural areas where most of the people reside.

    Also, a very nicely dressed woman in a good looking SUV told me, “God will be watching you.” when she accosted me for getting “her” parking spot in a crowded mall the other Sunday. I could only hope that God wouldn’t key my car in retribution…

    We’ve all gone bug-fuck crazy!

  41. 41
    Marmot says:

    @John Cole:

    So go fuck yourself with your attempt at WV bashing.

    Count your blessings. Had this story even had the word “Texas” in it, commenters would be calling for its removal from the union. Because of what our idiot wingnuts say.

  42. 42
    greennotGreen says:

    @HinTN: Where in Williamson County were you?

  43. 43
    bemused says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    Republicans have done this before so I would not be surprised.

  44. 44
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Paul in KY: They were all gold. And Punchy’s comment made me spit laugh. It was a tiny reminder of what this place used to be before it became the preferred hangout for shut-ins and programmers, but I’m being redundant.

    When John told me to go fuck myself, I nearly wept.

  45. 45
    chopper says:

    @Punchy:

    you’d think if the state legislature really wanted to make the place more attractive to tourists, they’d change the state motto from ‘squeal like a pig’.

  46. 46
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Marmot:

    Count your blessings. Had this story even had the word “Texas” in it, commenters would be calling for its removal from the union. Because of what our idiot wingnuts say.

    West Virginia is damned, the product of its original sin of illegal seceding from Virginia. Come back to Mama Virginia and we’ll forgive and hug it all out and provide the leadership and votes to help you savages join the 21st century.

  47. 47
    Steeplejack says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Don’t worry, the blog will get better after all the boomer shut-ins die off.

  48. 48
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Don’t worry, the blog will get better after all the boomer shut-ins die off.

    From your lips to God’s ears, Steep.

  49. 49
    Paul in KY says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Punchy’s was really good too. Humor is more needed now than less needed.

  50. 50
    Marmot says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: see, that’s what I mean. There’s just not that kind of fraternity when Texas is concerned. And it’s not like our wingnuts are any worse!

    Oh, it is to lament, where is the love?

  51. 51
    Paul in KY says:

    @chopper: It does sound better in Latin: ‘Quasi adipe et vociferamini’

  52. 52
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Face: IIRC, Big Coal and the federal government are among the biggest employers. Sen. Byrd made a career of bring good, high-paying public sector work to WV. His legacy seems about to go up in smoke.

    @Hal: Ditto. Especially about the “I felt I talked nicely to them” bit. That was so [Southern] Nice. Bless her heart. Honestly, these people either have no idea when they’re being patently offensive, or are so turned on by being just plain nasty that they’re getting some serious jollies from this (and of course for being Oppressed/Victimized/Tempted[?]).

  53. 53
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Marmot: I’m one of those people who think Texas was happier when it was part of Mexico. More dancing, tequila and firearms discharged randomly in the sky, not for this right or that right but because it was fun, dammit. And you think the hats are big now? They were really big then, with intricate designs and dangly bits. You folks haven’t been happy with the United States for a long time. We all know it. It’s time to stop pretending this is going to work.

  54. 54
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Extrapolated, that’s just “the United States is just like the rest of the world, only duller.” Not that I’m especially inclined to disagree, just pointing that out.

  55. 55
    Yutsano says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    “Oh, really? I’m going to go to hell? Well, I guess I’d better stop being gay, then. Thank you so much for your help, ma’am!”

    You mock, but for a not insignificant number of the Jeebus beliebers they think exactly that. They believe (or had it pounded into their heads) that homosexuality is a sin and that it can be cured if kweerz only get right with Jeebus. Hence the large number of ex-gay ministries that used to be (and are still) around. It doesn’t matter that all the science has shown this doesn’t happen, they just FEEL it in their guts and dadgum that’s good enough for them!

  56. 56
    HinTN says:

    @greennotGreen: Green Hills – didn’t see the tag, though. ;^)

  57. 57
    PST says:

    Coal only has a 3 billion dollar impact, to give you a comparison.

    To fully give coal its due, you should add the SSDI money it brings into the state and a thriving market in prescription opioids.

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