The Laramie City Council on Wednesday
approved a bill that prohibits discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity.
According to the Casper
Tribune, Laramie is the first city in Wyoming to approve such
an ordinance since state lawmakers rejected a bill seeking statewide
protections in February.
The council overwhelmingly (7-2)
approved the measure that bans LGBT discrimination in housing,
employment and public facilities such as restaurants.
In 1988, Matthew Shepard, 21, was
brutally murdered outside Laramie by two men he met in a gay bar.
Shepard's murder was mentioned by
residents and council members during Wednesday's meeting.
Councilwoman Vicki Henry said that she
wanted to “right that wrong” about the college town's reputation
for being unkind to gay and transgender people.
Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard's mother
and a vocal supporter of gay rights, told the AP: “I'm thrilled
that Laramie's doing it, at the same time sort of saddened that the
state of Wyoming can't see fit to do that as well. Maybe the rest of
Wyoming will understand this is about fellow human beings and not
something that's other than what they are.”
Gay couples started exchanging vows in
Wyoming last year after a federal appeals court struck down the
state's restrictive marriage ban.