Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Voice for Equality: Stephen Skinner

Stephen Skinner is the founder and President of Fairness West Virginia and the first and only out gay official in the state of West Virginia. Skinner is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and the West Virginia University School of Law. He has practiced law in New York City, Washington, D.C., and his native West Virginia. While a lawyer in New York, Skinner represented aviation disaster and other catastrophically injured victims, including victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Learn more here.

Mr. Skinner is a board member of the West Virginia Association for Justice and recently stepped down after three years as President of the Board of Trustees of the Contemporary American Theater Festival. In 2008, Skinner was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention for Barack Obama, representing West Virginia's Second Congressional District. Governor Manchin recently appointed him to the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, making him the first gay official in West Virginia. As President of Fairness West Virginia, the gay rights organization for the state of West Virginia, he has argued strenuously against a state constitutional amendment to define marriage in July, 2009.

Mr. Skinner recently published a letter to the Fairness West Virginia website, saying:

Even in West Virginia, why does the California Supreme Court decision on Prop 8 sting so much? We are all, in every state, disappointed by the Court's ruling upholding the ban on marriage equality and its denigration of basic civil rights in California. This is probably because, in part, for so many people, California represents so many good things to the LGBT community.
Freedom to Marry salutes Stephen Skinner as a Voice for Equality! See other Voices for Equality here.

If Mr. Skinner's support inspires you - get involved!

**Thank you to Grant Gilles for this nomination! Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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