The Old West Days parade in Jackson became more colorful this year with a first-ever pride contingent.
Dozens of LGBTQ supporters marched down Broadway in a preview of Pride Month and upcoming celebrations across the Equality State this weekend.
President Obama in 2014 declared June to be Pride Month, seeking “to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.” LGBT workers, he wrote, “in too many states can be fired just because of their sexual orientation.”
Such remains the case in Wyoming. Lawmakers earlier this year rejected two bills endorsed by the advocacy group Wyoming Equality designed to outlaw some forms of LGBTQ discrimination.
House Bill 230 – Enhancing Quality Employment would have prohibited discriminatory employment practices based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It passed a committee 5-4 but was not considered on the House floor by the Committee of the Whole.
The House did not consider House Bill 289 – Codification of Marriage Rights for introduction.
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Jackson pride-march organizer Andrew Munz reflected on the Old West Days parade in a Facebook post. “Most people cheered and applauded from the sidewalks, while a few didn’t smile at all,” he wrote.
“But that’s okay,” Munz wrote. “What this shows is that progress is possible, and that road to acceptance might actually just be a four-lane street running through the center of your hometown.”
For other pride events, including a parade scheduled for Saturday in Casper, see Wyoming Equality’s web page.