House Bill 135 Sparks Laramie City Council’s Concern
Some Laramie City Council members are voicing concerns that a bill currently in the legislature, if signed into law, will conflict with the Laramie Non-Discrimination Ordinance.
House Bill 135, or the Government Nondiscrimination Act, states the Wyoming government cannot take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that the person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral convictions.
Laramie Vice Mayor Jayne Pearce said HB 135 would cancel out the Laramie ordinance.
“Based on my current understanding, HB 135 would nullify Laramie’s anti-discrimination ordinance 1914,” Pearce said. “It is of great concern, and I am watching it closely.”
Laramie City Council passed the non-discrimination ordinance on May 13, 2015. The ordinance prohibited “discrimination of any person upon his or her actual or perceived sexual orientation of gender identity in employment, housing or public accommodations.”
Councilor Vicki Henry said HB 135 would not co-exist with the non-discrimination ordinance.
“It would trump our ordinance, making our ordinance useless,” Henry said. “We worked hard to get the Laramie ordinance brought forth, amended and passed. I would not like to see our ordinance by the wayside.”
Laramie Mayor Andrea Summerville said the city is currently reviewing HB 135.
“We are looking at which provisions of Laramie’s non-discrimination ordinance and the enforcement ability of the ordinance would be affected by HB 135,” Summerville said.
Summerville said the city will continue their review and monitor developments of the bill as it moves through the legislative process.