The Laramie City Council has approved an anti-discrimination ordinance in the college town where Matthew Shepard’s death triggered nationwide sympathy and brought a re-examination of attitudes toward gays 17 years ago.
The council voted 7-2 Wednesday night in favor of the measure that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and access to public facilities such as restaurants.
Local organizers focused their efforts on Laramie after the Legislature repeatedly rejected anti-discrimination bills, most recently early this year. The Laramie Nondiscrimination Task Force presented a draft ordinance to the City Council last summer.
Shepard, a gay university student, was murdered in Laramie in 1998, and his death became a rallying point in the gay rights movement. Congress has passed hate crimes legislation bearing his name.