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Wyoming’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill dies in the House

A series of bubbles show the bill's progression through the legislature. The top row is all green, showing the bill was "filed," advanced out of "committee," hit the "Senate floor" and passed a 2nd and 3rd reading. A red X show that the bill was not considered by the House, thus dying. The remaining bubbles, each labeled with another step through the House, are blank.
Jeff Victor
/
Wyoming Public Media/Laramie Reporter
Senate File 117 was not considered in the House of Representatives. The bill was never assigned to committee and missed the deadline to do so.

Wyoming's "Don't Say Gay" bill has failed this session, having missed a key deadline Friday evening.

The bill was a close copy of a law passed in Florida last year. In Florida, the law limits what can be talked about in public schools. Wyoming lawmakers drafted a similar bill this session.

Senate File 117 would have prohibited elementary school teachers from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in the classroom. It also would have required school districts to tell parents about any change in their child's emotional or mental health — a provision that could force schools to out gay and trans students who have come out at school but not at home.

The bill made it all the way through the Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives. But House Speaker Albert Sommers (R-Pinedale) never assigned it to a committee. So the bill died last week when it missed the deadline to be heard by a committee.

Sommers said in a statement he believes the bill was unconstitutional and that it would have stripped schools and communities of local control.

Other representatives tried to force Sommers to bring the bill and assign it to a committee, but ultimately they couldn't get enough votes.

The bill was one of several pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation brought by state lawmakers this year. Only one bill banning trans women from participating in high school sports is still being considered.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.

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