Sunday, January 23, 2011

Google "equality and Wyoming" and see what you get

I just Googled "equality and Wyoming." It got 1,670,000 hits. Most are about the current battle being waged for real equality in Wyoming. Equality for all, including gays and lesbians and bisexual and transgendered people, as well as immigrants from south of the Borderlands. The Wyoming State Legislature thinks it is O.K. to discriminate against all of "these people." They have another think coming.

There are some links to "equality and Wyoming" which show that equality exists here. Wyoming Equality is first on the list. Its motto: "Connecting Wyoming's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community." It just sponsored a dance in Casper, but the year's main event is "Rendezvous." Here's a description for this summer's event:
Rendezvous (Aug. 3-7, 2011) is a 5-day campout at Medicine Bow National Forest, between Cheyenne and Laramie.

The Rendezvous Event provides a friendly, safe, GLBT-affirming environment for everyone, from everywhere.  Pitch a tent or bring an RV and join us for a week of making new friends, entertainment, and outdoor adventure.

Rendezvous is an experience you will not forget.

From laughing around the campfire with friends, old and new, and enjoying the crisp air and bright stars while cooking out, you'll have fond memories for years to come.  That's why so many people return to Rendezvous year after year.

See you at Rendezvous 2011!
"Equality" is also part of the name of the state's Medicaid program:
EqualityCare is the name chosen by the Wyoming Department of Health for its Medicaid Program. Medicaid is a joint federal and state government program that pays for medical care for some low income and medically needy individuals and families.
The issues of Medicaid and health care are also being discussed in the current legislative session. The Repubs want to make it a crime to enact the Affordable Health Care Act in the state. The legislature says that the state doesn't cotton to any federal interference and wants to come up with its own plan which they will discuss at a later date. More important to get rid of that darn Obamacare.

More talk of equality from the Equality State. The Equality State Policy Center blog issues weekly reports on progress (or lack thereof) in the legislature. As Director Dan Neal says on the blog, this week "ended on a low note," equality-wise. Read the entire post at

As Dan notes, there's more equality to come Monday:
The House Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee will take up HB 94 - Illegal immigration, at 7:30 am. The bill mirrors Arizona’s controversial measure.
One equality-named literary organization that I've been involved with is the Equality State Book Festival in Casper. I'm a member of the planning committee and we've been promoting books and writers and reading since 2006. The Equality State Book Festival has featured a whole slate of quality writers from all over: Annie Proulx, Robert Wrigley, Ravi Shankar, Kim Barnes, David Romtvedt, C.J. Box, Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, Alyson Hagy, Mark Jenkins, Mark Spragg, Gerry Spence, Tim Sandlin, Lori Van Pelt, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Robert Roripaugh, Laura Pritchett, Rosemary Daniell, Lily Burana, Nina McConigley, and many others. Children's author and memoirist Jack Gantos has conducted workshops and presentations for hundreds of Casper students in 2008 and 2010. Olympic champ Rulon Gardner (now a reality show star) brought his book and his rousing speeches to Casper students in 2006. Noted children's author/illustrator Ray Troll traveled from Alaska to bring his passion for dinosaurs to the bookfest and to schools.

Reading and writing knowledge is crucial to good citizenship. Good citizens know about a state's core values, and work hard to promote them.

I'm not saying that our legislators aren't knowledgeable. I am saying that they are putting narrow-minded interests before the health of the state. And the world is watching.

Go ahead, Google "equality and Wyoming." See what you get. Lots of bad news, but certainly some gems in the mix.

No comments: