Republican tries to wreck gay rights bill by enacting it ‘when hell freezes over’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Wyoming Republican attempted to sabotage an anti-discrimination bill, by making it effective from “when hell freezes over”.

State congressman Harlan Edmonds had tried to wreck a bill that would protect LGBT workers from discrimination, while it was being heard by the House’s Labor, Health and Social Services committee.

He proposed an amendment to the bill which would change the effective start date of the bill from July 1 2015 to “when hell freezes over”.

According to the Casper Star Tribune, Mr Edmonds – who also questioned why paedophilia wasn’t in the bill – was eventually told to leave the meeting by Chairwoman Elaine Harvey.

The bill eventually passed the committee by a vote of 6-2, but Edmonds’ bizarre outburst drew much of the focus.

It is thought to be the first time a Wyoming state congressman has been ejected from a meeting in such a manner.

Senate File 115 states: “It is a discriminatory or unfair employment practice for an employer to refuse to hire, to discharge, to promote or demote, or to discriminate in matters of compensation or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment against, a qualified disabled person or any person otherwise qualified, because of age, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or pregnancy.”

However, the law also includes an exemption for religious groups, which has been criticized in other similar legislation as a ‘license to discriminate’.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Wyoming in October, after officials filed a notice saying they would not continue to defend a law banning it.

US District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl had ruled the same month that the state’s law defining marriage as “a civil contract between a male and a female person” was unconstitutional.