Cheyenne Non-Discrimination Meeting

If you live in Cheyenne or are close we NEED you at the Cheyenne Non-Discrimination Ordinance meeting next Tuesday, September 1st. You’ve probably heard the city council is proposing a ‘Human Rights Task Force’. While we would always support this, the goal remains to PASS the Non-Discrimination Ordinance in Cheyenne and ALL Wyoming communities! We’ll have updates on the number of business pledges (could we have hit that elusive 100+?!), Letters to the Editor, next steps and much more!

Nix rights council, pass ban on bias

wyomingnews.com

THE ISSUE: The Cheyenne City Council is considering an ordinance that would set up a human rights advisory council.

WE BELIEVE: This is a delaying tactic to avoid voting on a ban against discrimination against the LGBT community. Go for the ban instead.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK: Contact us via email at opinion@wyomingnews.com.

Mayor Rick Kaysen knows the secret.

So does City Councilman Dicky Shanor.

When elected officials do not want to make a decision that could be unpopular, they don’t make it. They simply create a committee – or a council – to study the matter. In that way, the decision can be delayed for months, even years. And if the committee does produce an unpopular recommendation, well, leadership can wash their hands of it.

So it is with the proposed human rights advisory council that now is before the governing body. Councilwoman Annette Williams calls it a “Band-Aid” – a way of covering up, but not healing, an issue. But it is more than that. It is a delaying tactic from those who don’t want to deal with Ms. Williams’ planned ordinance that would ban discrimination here against gays, lesbians and other members of the LGBT community.

This is a shame – and a sham. If ever there were a time when this city needed to make a strong, anti-bias statement, it is now.

Let’s not forget that the Legislature recently rejected a similar proposal, and shocking things were said about gays and others. Since lawmakers cannot bring themselves to do the right thing, it is up to the leadership of Cheyenne to do this.

This progressive city should not be painted with the same broad brush of discrimination that is covering the rest of Wyoming. Rather, its leadership should be publicly opening its arms to all comers, including those companies that will not move to a city that shields bigotry and hate.

Unfortunately, this proposed human rights council does not display openness. Rather, the message of its supporters – particularly Mr. Kaysen – is that they don’t want the deal with the blowback.

And Mr. Shanor appears to have ulterior motives. His comment about protecting the “constitutional rights” of residents with the council is code talk. That is about defending those individuals and businesses which would refuse their services to members of the LGBT community because its members offend their religious sensibilities.

If Mr. Shanor (and any other council member) believes they have a right to do that – despite U.S. Supreme Court rulings on public access – he should say so rather than pushing this phony committee.

Besides, even if this rights council finds no instances of discrimination, that is not a good reason to not to pass Ms. Williams’ proposal. Her ordinance is designed not to remedy past problems here but to make certain they never crop up in the first place.

Does Cheyenne want to be known as a place that accepts discrimination at the workplace or elsewhere to members of the LGBT community? We do not, especially as the city is trying to attract the young professionals needed for its growing high-tech industry. To them, gay and lesbian rights are seen as essential in places where they choose to live.

We urge the City Council to reject this committee and turn instead to getting Ms. Williams’ ordinance on the books. If Cheyenne’s leaders truly want to be seen as caring about all those who live among them, this is the only proper way to make that point.

Share: Facebooktwitterpinterestmail
Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options