Wyoming Equality: Anti-Discrimination Resolution Politically Important
The Education and Outreach Coordinator for Wyoming Equality says that while an anti-discrimination resolution being considered by the Cheyenne City Council wouldn't change any laws, it is politically important to getting a statewide law passed protecting LGBT people.
Sara Burlingame says that's because of the clause that says the city supports a statewide anti-discrimination law,
Burlingame says when the state legislature narrowly voted down such a statewide law in 2015, one of the arguments against the bill was that most state residents don't support such a law.
But she says if enough Wyoming communities pass resolutions in favor of a statewide law it might show the kind of support that would sway state lawmakers.
Burlingame says she thinks most state residents really do support an anti-discrimination bill, adding "We're the equality state."
The Cheyenne resolution was introduced at Monday's Cheyenne City Council meeting. It now goes before the council Committee of the Whole--which includes city council members but not Mayor Rick Kaysen--for a public hearing on Oct. 19.
The proposed resolution reads as follows, with the clause Burlingame cited highlighted:
WHEREAS, diversity is a critical component of a thriving, successful municipality; WHEREAS, in today’s world, discrimination occurs far too often on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, family status, veteran status, disability, marital status or source of income. Discrimination is wrong and presents a stumbling block to the pursuit of full equality;
WHEREAS, tolerance and acceptance will strengthen Cheyenne as a community, deepening bonds between neighbors and fostering a welcoming environment;
WHEREAS, a commitment to diversity will enhance the local economy, creating a positive-forward thinking environment that will help attract business and create jobs;
WHEREAS, to further these goals, the City of Cheyenne is in the process of modifying its own internal and personnel policies to additionally prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity;
WHEREAS, the city of Cheyenne will support a comprehensive state law that addresses hiring, housing and accommodation to prevent discrimination against LGBT employees and citizens and their families; NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City of Cheyenne, in regular session duly assembled, it is the policy of the City to reject discrimination of any kind and to respect the inherent worth of every person, with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, family status, veteran status, disability, marital status, or source of income.
DATED this __th day of ___, 2016. CITY OF CHEYENNE, WYOMING ____________________________________ Richard L. Kaysen, Mayor
Attest: ______________________________________ Carol Intlekofer, City Clerk