President Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday to continue to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people working for federal contractors under an executive order signed by his predecessor President Barack Obama in 2014.
“The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP (Republican) nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression,” the White House said in a statement.
Wyoming introduces LGBT workplace protection law… that will allow some employers to discriminate
Equality advocates are happy to see the back of HB135, but are unhappy that new legislation includes a religious freedom get-out clause
New legislation to offer workplace discrimination protections to LGBT employees in the state of Wyoming has support from both Republicans and Democrats in both state houses of Legislature.
Introduced yesterday, Senate File (SF) 153 will prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It comes on the same day that a controversial piece of Wyoming legislation, religious freedom bill HB135, is dropped.
Opponents of the HB135 said it could technically allow any worker, including doctors and police, to decline services to LGBT if they felt it conflicted with their faith.
Supporters of HB153 dropped the legislation when it became apparent that there would not be enough time for the Wyoming legislation to debate it.
If accepted later this spring, SF135 will instead mean that Wyoming businesses cannot decline employment to, or fire someone, simply because they’re gay, bisexual or transgender.
‘Sponsors of HB135 withdrew the bill. It’s dead, y’all’
LGBTI advocates have welcomed the fact that the bill has been introduced, and will introduce previously lacking discrimination protections. However, they are unhappy the legislation includes exemptions for religious organizations.
They are urging supporters to write to their representatives to make their views known.
In a statement, the group said: ‘Tonight, we took our first big step toward winning LGBT equality in Wyoming!
‘After a flood of calls, emails and visits to our Wyoming State Legislature, the sponsors of HB135 withdrew the bill. It’s dead, y’all. We’re now closer to working towards real equality by passing SF153, our “ENDA” (Employee Non-Discrimination Act) which would provide workplace protections for LGBT workers.
‘But we won’t stand for a “religious” exemption. Many people of faith, some LGBT themselves, will not allow religion to be weaponized in the workplace.’
News of yesterday’s withdrawal of HB135 was also welcomed by ACLU Wyoming. It said in a statement, ‘We’re thrilled that the Wyoming Legislature decided against pursuing House Bill 135, a dangerous and discriminatory law that would have posed real threats to LGBT people in our state.
‘Wyoming is sending the message that we stand for equal rights and fairness for everyone.’