Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Regressive bills to watch out for during the 2013 Wyoming Legislature w/update

Gregory Nickerson at wyofile does a great job of outlining the possible social issue bills that will emerge during the upcoming legislative session, which begins Jan. 8. The usual players (those that survived the recent election, anyway) on the Republican side will offer up the usual regressive anti-gay and anti-woman legislation. They will try to force pregnant women to undergo invasive ultrasounds. They will attempt a demonize the LGBT community. For those of you who thought that the recent national election showed once and for all that America believes in a progressive social agenda, think again. This just about sums it up:
“Wyoming’s quite a little bit different than the rest of the country,” said Curt Meier, the longtime Republican senator from LaGrange. “You see that in the last presidential election. We’ve got a different idea about what America should be than what it is right now.”
I'm always amazed that some Republicans think that we don't live in an interconnected age, where lamebrain policies concocted in LaGrange won't end up on the national stage. We have the Internet Tubes now, Sen. Meier. When Wyoming thinks it needs an aircraft carrier or silencers on hunting rifles, it goes viral and people laugh at us from sea to shining sea. And lest you think that tourism will keep us afloat, that backwards policies won't affect the stream of visitors to gawk at the Tetons, think again. Word gets around.

There may be another way to look at this. Perhaps Wyoming, if it regresses far enough, will actually become a worldwide curiosity. People might say, "Let's go see those strange natives who live in that almost-square state sandwiched between Colorado and Montana." Wyoming already is somewhat of a oddity to urban dwellers on the coasts. That could end up being a big draw as the rest of American moves forward and we keep lurching backward.

One of the best things about Greg's article -- he names all the possible players on these issues. Wyoming Equality, led by Jeran Artery, is a force to be reckoned with on LGBT legislation, notably marriage equality. My wife Chris and I are Wyoming Equality members and plan to get behind the organization 110 percent during the legislative session. The org has 650 members and can be very persuasive when energized. To borrow a phrase from Anonymous -- Expect us!

UPDATE: Just received my Wyoming Equality United Voice newsletter in the mail. WE plans to expand its lobbying force for the upcoming legislature. If you're interested, get more info at the Wyoming Equality Web site.

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