WHAT IT IS
- May 9th, 2017: West Virginia’s Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that attacks against LGBT people do not qualify as hate crimes.
- The ruling came from the case of State of West Virginia vs. Steward Butler from April 2015, in which Butler, a college running back, was accused of physically assaulting two men kissing.
- The case was taken to appeals to define ‘sex’ in civil rights law, which does not include sexual orientation.
WHY IT MATTERS
The state’s recent ruling could set precedents for other courts in the United States. This also bring into question not only LGBT rights but state civil rights and whether state and federal LGBT rights should be the same.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- Butler has been kicked off his university’s football team, and remains charged with two account of battery.
- West Virginia legislature is only one of six states that do not includes sex but not sexual orientation in its civil rights protections.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Read up on LGBT protections in West Virginia here.
- How should state courts define sex and gender to avoid ambiguity?