Participation Type

Panel

Session Title

Safe, Free and LGBT: Legal Issues Facing LGBT West Virginian’s

Session Abstract or Summary

It has been less than a year since the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges ushered in marriage equality nationwide. However, this victory has not stopped continued efforts to discriminate against LGBT people throughout our region. Even with the freedom to marry secured many LGBT people may find themselves in situations where they can be married on Sunday, fired on Monday, and evicted on Tuesday. In this session we will be exploring the legal challenges facing LGBT West Virginians and LGBT people living in our region. The goal of this presentation is to give participants the language and knowledge necessary to understand and engage in the ongoing public discussion of Employment and Housing Non-Discrimination Act (EHNDA) legislation, the problems associated with Religious Freedom Restoration (RFRA) legislation, and challenging legal climate faced by LGBT Appalachians.

Presentation #1 Title

Safe, Free and LGBT: Legal Issues Facing LGBT West Virginian’s

Presentation #1 Abstract or Summary

It has been less than a year since the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges ushered in marriage equality nationwide. However, this victory has not stopped continued efforts to discriminate against LGBT people throughout our region. Even with the freedom to marry secured many LGBT people may find themselves in situations where they can be married on Sunday, fired on Monday, and evicted on Tuesday. In this session we will be exploring the legal challenges facing LGBT West Virginians and LGBT people living in our region. The goal of this presentation is to give participants the language and knowledge necessary to understand and engage in the ongoing public discussion of Employment and Housing Non-Discrimination Act (EHNDA) legislation, the problems associated with Religious Freedom Restoration (RFRA) legislation, and challenging legal climate faced by LGBT Appalachians.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #1

Jennifer’s background includes experience as a litigator, lobbyist, and activist. Before joining the ACLU-WV, Meinig practiced law in Washington, DC for six years, first at a national nonprofit organization dedicated to making justice and our courts more accessible for all Americans, and later at a boutique white-collar criminal defense firm. She is a former board president of WV FREE, and former board member of Planned Parenthood Health Systems. A native West Virginian, Jennifer received her J.D. from West Virginia College of Law in 2007, and her B.A. in political science from West Virginia University in 2002. During law school she clerked at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. She also completed a semester externship on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #2

Stephen Skinner was born and raised in Jefferson County, West Virginia. He is an honors program graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and the West Virginia University College of Law. Prior to College, he attended the West Virginia Governor's Honors Academy and Mountaineer Boys State. After practicing law in Washington, D.C. and New York City, Stephen joined his brother in a trial and appellate practice based in Charles Town. He is a member of the American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, the West Virginia Association for Justice, Public Justice, and the National Crime Victim Bar Association. Stephen is the founder of Fairness West Virginia, a civil rights organization dedicated to LGBT rights. In 2011, both Stephen and Fairness West Virginia were recognized by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission with “Living the Dream” award for his their work in promoting LGBT rights. In November 2014 Stephen was re-elected to a second term representing the 67th District of the House of Delegates. He is the first openly gay member of the West Virginia legislature and is currently a candidate for the West Virginia Senate.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #3

Jill Cranston Rice is a Partner in the Morgantown office of Dinsmore & Shohl where she chairs the Firm’s Government Relations Practice Group. She focuses her practice on government relations, insurance and health care law but maintains an active litigation practice, representing many sectors of West Virginia business community, ranging from financial institutions and insurers to national pharmaceutical companies to health care providers. She regularly represents hospitals, and routinely deals with clients on day-to-day regulatory matters. Jill also is the President of the West Virginia Insurance Federation, the state trade association for property and casualty insurance companies doing business in West Virginia and is the lead lobbyist for the insurance industry in West Virginia. Jill is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the West Virginia University College of Law and lives in Bridgeport with her husband, Clayton, and their three children.

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Safe, Free and LGBT: Legal Issues Facing LGBT West Virginian’s

It has been less than a year since the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges ushered in marriage equality nationwide. However, this victory has not stopped continued efforts to discriminate against LGBT people throughout our region. Even with the freedom to marry secured many LGBT people may find themselves in situations where they can be married on Sunday, fired on Monday, and evicted on Tuesday. In this session we will be exploring the legal challenges facing LGBT West Virginians and LGBT people living in our region. The goal of this presentation is to give participants the language and knowledge necessary to understand and engage in the ongoing public discussion of Employment and Housing Non-Discrimination Act (EHNDA) legislation, the problems associated with Religious Freedom Restoration (RFRA) legislation, and challenging legal climate faced by LGBT Appalachians.