Wyoming is one of just four states without a hate crimes law. A coalition of businesses and community groups, known as Hate Free Wyoming, is hoping to change that reality.
The ADL Mountain States Region is working closely with our partners and friends at the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Hate Free Wyoming coalition to get a bill introduced and passed in the 2021 legislative session. ADL is assisting the effort by drafting model language for the statute and reaching out to key business leaders, community organizations and elected officials.
In addition to ADL, the current members of Hate Free Wyoming include: American Airlines, Inc.; AT&T; Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation; IBM Corporation; Matthew Shepard Foundation; NAACP CO-MT-WY State Conference; Salesforce; Swire Coca-Cola, USA; The Coca-Cola Company; The Home Depot; Toyota Motor North America; United Parcel Service (UPS); Walmart, Inc.; and Wyoming Equality.
The murder of Matthew Shepard more than 22 years ago placed the urgency of a hate crime law at the forefront of Wyoming politics. A bill was introduced in 1999, the year after Shepard’s brutal attack, but failed on a tied 30-30 vote in the Wyoming House of Representatives. Several attempts to pass a bias-motivated crimes law, commonly known as a hate crimes law, have been made since then, but none have been successful.
If you live in Wyoming, we need your assistance. Please call your state representative, state senator and Governor Mark Gordon and tell them that you support a bias-motivated crimes bill being introduced and passed in the 2021 legislative session. You can find your legislators and more information about the legislative session at: www.wyoleg.gov.