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West Virginia Supreme Court upholds circuit court ruling on civil rights case

The West Virginia Supreme Court upheld a circuit court ruling that dismissed a civil rights violations in a case involving former Marshall University running back Steward Butler. (WCHS/WVAH)

The West Virginia Supreme Court upheld a circuit court ruling that dismissed a civil rights violations in a case involving former Marshall University running back Steward Butler.

The justices affirmed the lower court's ruling with a 3-2 vote Tuesday. They heard arguments in the case in which Butler is accused of using anti-gay words and striking two gay men after they exchanged a kiss on the street in Huntington in April 2015.

Cabell County Circuit Court dismissed the two civil rights violations in May 2016. The Cabell County Prosecutor's Office appealed the ruling, arguing the word "sex" in West Virginia Code could be expanded to include "sexual orientation." The state Supreme Court concluded the word "sex" in West Virginia code could not include "sexual orientation."

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