The Wyoming Senate on Thursday rejected
a bill which sought to prohibit discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity in the areas of employment, housing
and public accommodations.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted
13-15 against the measure.
Democratic Senator Chris Rothfuss, the
bill's champion in the chamber, said the bill's purpose was to
Opponents warned that if approved the
measure would impinge on religious freedoms.
Earlier in the week, the Wyoming House
rejected a bill which sough to recognize the relationships of gay and
lesbian couples with domestic partnerships and a House committee
killed a proposal which sough to legalize gay marriage in Wyoming.
Despite the defeats, gay rights
activists cheered the gains they made.
“This year, rather than playing
defense we played offense and made historic progress,” Wyoming
Equality Chair Jeran Artery said in a statement. “To witness the
advancement we made this year is tremendous. In the most Republican
Legislature in the Nation, we passed both bills through committee
with strong bipartisan support, demonstrating that equality is not a
partisan issue. While heartbroken by the defeat of the bills, the
fact that they passed committee and reached a floor vote is a giant
step forward on the road to equality.”