Editor:

In Jonathan Lange's 12/14 opinion piece, he claims that Laramie's Non-Discrimination Ordinance criminalizes free speech and the free exercise of religion. Having just read Laramie's ordinance, I do not see the honesty in Lange's claim, as I found no such criminalization.

Lange states that the language of non-discrimination ordinances like Laramie's are designed to advance the UN's Yogyakarta Principles. Are we supposed to be frightened of something labeled as the "UN's"? Is Lange fear-mongering here? Having just read the Yogyakarta Principles, I find nothing to be leery of, unless a person feels they should have the right to mistreat people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Why anyone claiming to be a Christian would demand such a right is very disturbing to me.

Lange brings up the case of Jack Phillips, a Coloradan in the bakery business that includes making wedding cakes, who refuses to make wedding cakes for gay or lesbian couples. It would seem that Lange would have us believe that Phillips is being discriminated against because he is being forbidden to discriminate. Phillips is not being forbidden to speak his opposition to same-sex marriage nor is he being forced to change his religious beliefs concerning such marriages. So contrary to Lange's claims, Phillips' freedom of speech and his freedom of religion are not being violated. I do not think Phillips is being treated unfairly, as Lange contends, but his case is before the U.S. Supreme Court and it will be interesting to see how the court rules.

I find it a sad irony that Lange's opinion piece appeared on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court case of Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, in which the court ruled that Congress was within it's authority to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against racial discrimination by private businesses (in this case, a motel that refused to cater to blacks). It would appear that Lange wants businesses to have the right to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which I find just as abhorrent as racial discrimination.

I hope our City Council does adopt a non-discrimination resolution for Casper.

DINO WENINO, Casper

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