The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has offered support for two hate crime bills, that Wyoming lawmakers are seeking to pursue for next year’s (2022) legislative session.
One bill would make it a misdemeanor to deny “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” to anyone due to their “race, color, sex, creed, or national origin,” and the other would require law enforcement to report hate crimes.
“We support the efforts of Wyoming lawmakers to protect vulnerable communities from bias-motivated harassment and intimidation,” CAIR Government Affairs Department Director Robert McCaw said. “As bigotry continues to rise nationwide, measures need to be taken by all states to ensure the rights and safety of marginalized groups.”
McCaw added: “It is especially important that the Wyoming State Legislature adopt hate crime legislation to coincide with the newly-adopted Juneteenth National Independence Day federal holiday.”
He noted that Wyoming is one of three states without hate crime legislation, along with Arkansas and South Carolina.
CAIR has previously supported efforts to pass hate crime laws in those states.
CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
The 2022 session for the Wyoming Legislature is a budget session.
It is tentatively scheduled to begin on February 14th.