Proposed LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Invokes Passion
An LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance that will likely go before the Cheyenne City Council in the coming weeks is receiving mixed reviews.
Shayna Lonoaea-Alexander, who's father is stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, recently moved to Cheyenne from Hawaii. She believes it's time for the city to follow the military's lead.
"This month marks the four-year anniversary of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" said Lonoaea-Alexander. "The base, as far as I've heard, has not had any problems with wanting to kick out any gay members, like denying them work or housing, but the fact that they could walk off of base and those protections end is ridiculous to me."
But some believe expanding protections for the LGBT community would violate their religious freedoms.
"This isn't the end game," said Kevin Roberts, President of Wyoming Catholic College. "The end game is to swing the pendulum from past discrimination of people with the same-sex attraction all the way to the other side to discrimination against people of faith."
"Anybody can jump up and say I got fired because I was gay or lesbian or transgender," said former Wyoming Representative Lynn Hutchings, R-Cheyenne. "This will only become a breeding ground for lawsuits against Cheyenne residents who happen to oppose the (LGBT community) and those who want to carpetbag on their bandwagon for gain."
Councilwoman Annette Williams says she plans to introduce an LGBT ordinance, similar to what Laramie passed in May, within the next month.
"I'm listening to these religious groups coming up here and saying you know protect my religious rights," said Williams. "The LGBT community is also asking for the same respect and I don't believe that that's happening. I think that people have to stop looking at it as a personal thing, but as the right thing."
"The military is fine with it. Laramie is fine with it. I think everyone should get on board with it," said Lonoaea-Alexander. "People don't deserve to be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation and their gender identity."