CHARLESTON, W.V. (AP) - A West Virginia lawmaker has introduced a bill that would give gay and lesbian couples the same legal protections as heterosexual married couples.
Del. John Doyle says he introduced the bill Thursday to start a conversation about family equality. The Jefferson County Democrat says that gay and lesbian couples should have the same safety net to deal with the death of a parent or the loss of a job as married couples.
Fairness WV, which advocates on behalf of the gay, lesbian and transgender community, says this is the first time a civil union bill has been introduced in the West Virginia Legislature.
Doyle also sponsored a bill that would prohibit workplace and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation. That bill has not advanced since it was introduced.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)