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City releases proposed amendments to malicious harm ordinance

An eagle statue outside of City Hall.

An eagle statue stands tall outside of the main entrance of City Hall.

GILLETTE, Wyo. — With only one reading left before it’s cleared to take effect, the Gillette City Council may consider last-minute amendments to a proposed malicious harm ordinance next week. 

The ordinance — which has passed two previous council readings — would make threatening or inciting violence against people or their property based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry or disability a crime, per the City of Gillette. 

The proposed amendment, drafted by Councilmember Jim West and publicly released by the city on May 31, adds age to the list of discriminatory categories and clarifies or adds to the language contained in the original ordinance.

West’s amendments outlaw malicious harm against any person or group of people based on the aforementioned discriminatory categories. They also prohibit anyone from intentionally inciting or producing imminent lawless violence against any person based on discrimination. 

Additionally, the amendments designate attempts to incite or produce imminent lawless violence against any person based on discriminatory factors a crime, even if no violence actually takes place, per the city. 

The amendments could be considered by the council in full during its meeting on June 6.