The Jackson Town Council is set to discuss a potential amendment to its Municipal Code during its upcoming workshop Monday. They will be looking at introducing an Anti-Bias provision to Title 9 the Public Peace, Morals, and Welfare regulations. This would penalize violent acts against people when the motivation behind the acts is proven to be based on certain personal characteristics of the victims.
Jackson Has Anti-Discrimination Regulation
Back in 2018, Jackson passed an ordinance that prohibited discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, and gender identity.
While the federal government and many states have anti-bias laws in place, Wyoming does not. Cities like Casper, Gillette, and Cheyenne have, however, put in place their own laws.
Proposed Anti-Bias Penalties
Two elements make up a bias crime: the actual crime and the motivation behind it, rooted in bias. If it is proven that a crime took place, prosecutors must also show that prejudice motivated the act. Penalties for ordinance violations in the Town of Jackson are limited by the State of Wyoming. The maximum penalty is a fine of $750, up to 6 months of jail time, or both.
Casper, Gillette, and Cheyenne have a list of characteristics in their ordinances. They include race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, and disability.
Jackson town staff recommends the language iin the ordinance be consistant with with the existing anti-discrimination ordinance.
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