A huge effort by business coalitions to pass a bill to provide workplace protections to gay and transgender people came to an end Tuesday. The Wyoming House of Representatives defeated Senate File 115, a much talked about anti-discrimination measure, 33 to 24.
Floor debate was between those who say that workplace protections for gay and transgender people would make Wyoming’s business climate more welcoming versus those who say it provided unnecessary special protections.
Jackson Republican Ruth Ann Petroff says that 40 people have been discriminated due to their sexual orientation over the last four years. Etna Republican Marti Halverson was dismissive of those numbers.
"There are only anecdotes of ugliness, true ugliness, and I would bet that there are fewer of these anecdotes here in Wyoming per capita than anywhere else. This bill is unneeded."
Speaker of the House Kermit Brown urged passage of the legislation.
"But the good lord didn’t put us on this earth to set here denigrate each other, I really can’t buy that. And I think we are all here to live in a co-equal existence."
But Thermopolis Republican Nathan Winters says the legislation removed first amendment rights.