CHEYENNE, WY — (03-03-21) — State lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday that defines and bans bias‑motivated crimes. Finally one of the last remaining states without hate-crime legislation is moving forward in getting hate-crime legislation into law.

The Cheynne, WY Hate-Crime Legislation entitled HB0218, would make someone guilty of committing a hate crime if they targeted someone for illegal action based on their “perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, or physical, intellectual or developmental disability.”

It would also require that all law enforcement recruits and trainees receive proper training in identifying bias-motivated crimes. Multiple proposed state hate crime bills have failed to previously pass in Wyoming but legislatures today feel that the time is right.

You will remember the famous Hate-Crime in Wyoming of gay college student Matthew Shepard, who was killed in 1998. In fact following Shepard’s murder, a federal anti-hate crime bill was named after him in 2009.

state Rep. Cathy Connolly (D) told CBS News…”Not only are we the state where Matthew Shepard was murdered and the state that has rejected hate crime legislation on several occasions, we now have other instances where I think it’s valuable for us to recognize systemic racism and system homophobia, and to be able to do something about it via the statutes,” said Rep. Connolly.

We will continue to follow developments on HB0218 and bring them to you as they become available.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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