By Melanie Vigil, Public Education and Outreach Coordinator
Pride month is an opportunity for us to celebrate how far we have come in the fight for LGBT rights nationwide. Wyoming celebrated Pride in style with picnics, film screenings, costume competitions, and drag shows across the state.
This year, Wyomingites also recognized Pride month as opportunity for healing and dialogue. With the recent tragedy in Orlando, Wyoming communities came together to hold vigils for the victims and their families. Spanning from Cheyenne to Laramie and Casper, community leaders along with business and faith leaders offered up support through speeches and conversations about the experiences of LGBT people living in Wyoming.
In addition to the vigils, Cheyenne held its annual Picnic in the Park sponsored by Wyoming Equality. Casper PLFAG held a weekend long pride celebration, showing a screening of Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine along with a drag show and picnic. Lander, one of the largest pride events in the state, held its third annual picnic with yard games and a special dedication to the Orlando victims. The ACLU of Wyoming was proud to partner with and attend many of these events.
However, there is still work to do. Governor Mead recently signed on to a lawsuit with nine other states against the federal government over President Obama’s restroom directive. Currently, there is a case before the Wyoming Supreme Court in which a judicial ethics committee is seeking to remove Pinedale magistrate Judge Neely from her position after claims that she would refuse to marry same-sex couples. There is still no statewide protection against discrimination for Wyoming LGBT citizens.
As we continue our work to protect the fundamental freedoms of LGBT Wyomingites, we hope you will stand with us. There are ongoing initiatives in Wyoming towns to bring forth the vital education needed to ensure that Wyoming’s LGBT citizens are protected and treated with dignity and fairness.
If you would like to learn more about how you can help in your community, contact ACLU of Wyoming’s Public Education and Outreach Coordinator, Melanie Vigil, at firstname.lastname@example.org.