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Gillette City Council passes ordinance outlawing malicious harm

Members of the Gillette City Council and Mayor Shay Lundvall (Right) listen to residents speak for and against the proposed malicious harm ordinance prior to it's passage on June 6 (Ryan Lewallen/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — The City of Gillette has its first anti-hate ordinance on the books following a split decision by the Gillette City Council on Tuesday. 

The ordinance — which the city calls its malicious harms ordinance — passed with four final votes to three during the council’s meeting on June 6 with Councilmembers Jim West, Heidi Gross, Billy Montgomery and Nathan McLeland voting in favor. 

Gillette Mayor Shay Lundvall and Councilmembers Tricia Simonson and Tim Carsrud voted against the measure. 

With the malicious harms ordinance’s passage, it is now unlawful to threaten or incite violence against people or their property based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, disability or age, according to the city. 

Prior to passing the ordinance, the council also voted to accept a series of proposed amendments drafted with input from Councilmember Jim West. 

The amendments added age to the list of discriminatory categories and adjusted the language to outlaw malicious harm against any person or group of people 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, according to the city. 

The council also voted to defeat a proposal by Councilman Tim Carsrud to table the measure for one month, a motion he said was intended to give the community more time to consider the amendments.