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00:00:01
>> Wheeling, West Virginia is in a part of US that's about as conservative as they come. It's located in a county that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. But Wheeling is among a recent wave of small cities, many of them in conservative areas. .To embrace one of the most progressive movements in the US, LGBT rights.
00:00:19
The town recently passed an ordinance protecting residents from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The reason, it's not only the right thing to do but it's good business. Reuters spoke to the town's mayor.>> We always have to be trying to bring jobs into Wheeling.
00:00:36
That's kind of a mixed bag. You're not always gonna get what you want. What we can do is make Wheeling a place where people who want those types of jobs actually want to live. The LGBT ordinance is a perfect example of that.>> Wheeling was once an industrial capital of America and is now littered with empty buildings.
00:00:50
And has very little to attract younger residents. Reuters spoke with some locals, and many in this pro-Trump region said they're proud of Wheeling's inclusiveness.>> It's heartwarming to me that the city I live in is willing to be open and embracing to all people.>> I don't believe in a lot of governmental control.
00:01:09
Yet I like the idea of the protection so that people have the opportunity to live their own lives without interference of other people.>> Still others like Pastor Donald Marsh don't quite see the economic benefit.>> Now that we've passed this ordinance, where are the changes? How has it helped?
00:01:29
Who has it helped?>> Alternately, North Carolina has faced serious business boycotts for adopting a law seen as discriminatory. Remember the infamous bathroom law? That prompted companies like PayPal and the NCAA, to pull business from the state. And provoked criticism from 120 top CEOs, like Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook.
00:01:50
For Wheeling, in addition to passing these ordinances to attract jobs and investment. It also sees protecting LGBT people as living up to its nickname as quote, the friendly city.>> We're supposed to be having a gay pride celebration this summer, so the first one ever. So I am hoping that we'll become more an active part of the community.
00:02:08
And everybody can work together and make it a better place.