Casper City Council Adopts Anti-LGBT Discrimination Resolution
Casper City Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution by a 6-3 vote affirming the right of LGBT residents to live free of discrimination.
The group Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays backed the resolution, telling the council that it would demonstrate goodwill toward the LGBT community.
Council Vice President Charlie Powell supported the resolution, saying social norms change only when leaders take a stand.
However, council member Shawn Johnson voted against the resolution. He said federal and state laws already prohibit discrimination, and he does not believe in separating people into different classes.
The resolution is a statement and does not have the force of law like an ordinance.
Two weeks ago, City Council decided not to hold a public hearing in two weeks on a proposed resolution to support the nondiscrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. Some council members said they already heard from many people with many viewpoints, and that a public hearing would not add anything to the discussion.
Even so, 19 people signed up to speak Tuesday.
In November, council gave tentative approval to the draft resolution after a request by the local chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, City Manager Carter Napier wrote in a memo to council. "Historically, LGBT persons have been harassed, rejected, and even murdered for being different," Napier wrote.