LGBTQ

On the heels of Colorado becoming the 18th state to ban “conversion therapy” earlier this year, Utah’s debating the widely discredited practice meant to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender expression.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday began hearing cases on employment protections for LGBTQ workers, and conservative Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who hails from Colorado, is likely the deciding vote.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the state of Idaho must provide sex reassignment surgery to inmate Adree Edmo.


McCormick Junior High

In March, racist and homophobic flyers were passed out by students at McCormick Junior High School to members of the school's Gay Straight Alliance club. It was the latest, but far from the only instance of bullying to take place at the Cheyenne school. And it put the school under a spotlight.

Charles Fournier

June is Pride Month. So this first installation of the "Belonging" series is a conversation between Connor Sears and Jesse Archambeau. They're both 2018 Cheyenne East High School grads who left for college in Peoria, Illinois where a more prominent LGBTQ community has helped them to foster their own identities. Now, they struggle with the reality that their absences perpetuate a trend that leaves Wyoming's queer youth without the mentorship they themselves yearned for.


Photo by Benson Kua via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

Layha Spoonhunter and Ashlynn Kercher have never met, but they've been fighting for the same cause: LGBTQ equality and visibility. For their activism, the Advocate magazine named the Wyoming residents among their 104 Champions of Pride list for 2019.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

Community members gathered in Cheyenne Thursday evening to discuss next steps following incidents of racism and homophobia at McCormick Junior High. The incidents involved reports of ongoing bullying directed at students of color and LGBTQ students. Posters were found around the school with racist and homophobic language at the end of March.

pixabay.com

Parents in Cheyenne told Wyoming Public Radio they heard from school administrators, and through their children that rainbow flags -- a symbol of LGBTQ pride and inclusion -- were being banned in Laramie County School District #1.

wikipedia.org

Laramie County School District #1 is still struggling to respond to racism and homophobia following an incident in late March. Posters attacking gay students and celebrating the Ku Klux Klan were found in the halls of McCormick Junior High in Cheyenne. In response, LGBTQ students and their allies carried Pride flags to send a message of inclusion.

Dionne Poulton/University of Wyoming

A spring snowstorm is keeping some speakers for this year's Shepard Symposium from arriving at the University of Wyoming campus, but event organizers say that won't keep the show from going on.

Screenshot provided by Kaycee Cook

According to a statement released by Laramie County School District #1, an incident involving racism and homophobia is under investigation. On Wednesday posters targeting black and LGBTQ students were found on the walls at McCormick Junior High in Cheyenne.

Provided by Wyoming Equality

A Cheyenne junior high was the target of hate speech Wednesday. Racist and homophobic posters discovered at McCormick Junior High have students concerned for their safety.

 A federal appeals panel has granted the state of Idaho’s request to postpone sex reassignment surgery for a transgender inmate. The inmate’s case now awaits a decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  

Lynn Hutchings

A State Senator released a statement denying that she ever compared homosexuality with bestiality or pedophilia.

Lynn Hutchings

The Wyoming legislature is moving into its final three weeks. Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard checked in with Bob Beck about the latest news, including budget discussions and controversial remarks made by Senator Lynn Hutchings.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Senate President said that an investigation is being conducted to determine if any action should be taken against Cheyenne Senator Lynn Hutchings regarding some comments she made to high school students who lobbied her regarding LGBTQ issues.  

The Trevor Project Facebook page

Conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth remains legal across most of the country, and much of our region. But right now, Colorado is considering a statewide ban on the practice.

wyoleg.gov

State Senator Lynn Hutchings of Cheyenne has been accused by the group Wyoming Equality of comparing homosexuality with bestiality and pedophilia. It came during a conversation with Cheyenne Central High School students at the legislature earlier this month. 

Benson Kua

When it comes to legal protections for the LGBTQ community, most of our region got a failing grade from the Human Rights Campaign's latest State Equality Index.

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming Legislature's Management Council has voted to change and weaken its anti-discrimination and harassment policy.

Andrea Clifford Campaign

Wyoming may be the reddest state in the nation but even the Cowboy State felt a ripple from the blue wave in this month's midterm election.

Two Mountain West states are part of a dozen across the country that allow people to select non-binary gender on legal documents.

Colorado residents, who do not identify as male or female, will be able to choose "X" as their gender on driver's licenses starting on Nov. 30.

"It's really important that Colorado is now allowing another opportunity for male, female and non-binary -- people who identify as neither male or female -- to also have an identity document who matches who they are," said Daniel Ramos, executive director of One Colorado, an LGBTQ advocacy organization.

Darrah Perez

Growing up on the Wind River Reservation, bullies often picked on Terrence Brown. "The time where I did stand up for myself was in the sixth grade," Brown remembers. "I was defending myself against six other boys and, well, I guess I let out some anger that day. We all ended up getting sent to the office. From that day forward, I kind of got a rush for it."

Trinity Episcopal Church

Saturday's attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh has focused attention on the rising number of hate crimes in this country. In 2016, according to the latest FBI data , more than 6,000 hate crimes were reported-motivated by biases against things like race, religion or sexual orientation. Most happen in cities. But data is lacking for these crimes in rural areas, including the Mountain West.

Matthew Shepard Foundation

After Matthew Shepard's murder, his autopsy was filed away and never released to the public. Julie Heggie was the coroner at the time and said, she decided, along with law enforcement and the county attorney's office, that was the best thing to protect the report from mass distribution.

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Craig Hella Johnson
James Goulden

Considering Matthew Shepard is a three-part oratorio responding to Matthew Shepard's 1998 murder. Released in 2016, the piece moves through the events of Shepard's life and death using a chorus and a chamber ensemble. It was written by composer Craig Hella Johnson. During the 20th anniversary of Shepard's death, Johnson has toured the work around the country and will perform it in Laramie October 6, the day Shepard was robbed and beaten. Reporter Cooper McKim speaks with Johnson about the work and the role of art around Shepard's death.

Matthew Shepard Foundation

20 years ago this weekend, Matthew Shepard encountered Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson at the Fireside bar in Laramie. McKinney told police that he noticed that Shepard had money and decided to rob him. He admitted that he thought Shepard would be an easy target because he was small in stature and appeared to be gay. 

Albany County Sheriff David O'Malley

From the time they learned about the Shepard attack, it was a busy time for Laramie law enforcement and the legal community as they dealt with the two people accused of murdering Matthew Shepard. The case had intense media scrutiny and international interest that overwhelmed residents of Laramie. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck caught up with three people who were very closely involved in the case. A police investigator, a judge and a defense attorney who discuss their memories and what they think happened.


Julie Heggie

Matthew Shepard's murder was a shock to everyone in the city of Laramie…but especially to gay and lesbian couples living there. One couple was especially close to the crime. Julie Heggie was the county coroner and attended Matthew Shepard’s autopsy. Her partner at the time was Gayle Woodsum, a victim's advocate. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with them to remember when Heggie got a strange phone call at three in the morning. She says it was the only time in her long career that she ever got a call concerning someone who hadn't died yet.

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