Today is what the Wyoming legislature deemed “Martin Luther King-Equality Day.” It occurs to me to ask this question. “What does it mean to celebrate something called “Equality Day” in Wyoming?"
What does it mean to women to celebrate Equality Day in the state with the largest male-female wage gap in the country? How do the children of single mothers celebrate Equality Day in a state where more than half of them live below the poverty line?
How does a transgender person celebrate Equality Day as the legislature prepares to debate a law dictating which bathroom you may use?
What does it mean to our LGBT brothers and sisters to celebrate Equality Day in a state where you can lawfully lose your job because of your sexual orientation or identity?
How do Native Americans celebrate Equality Day in a state that cares nothing and does even less about the poverty, health issues, lack of jobs and other opportunities, and discrimination experienced by those living on the Wind River reservation?
What does it mean to low-income working families to celebrate Equality Day in a state whose state legislators and congressional delegation gleefully votes to deny Medicaid expansion, repeal the Affordable Care Act, cut and eliminate food stamps, literacy centers, energy assistance, tax rebates for the elderly and the poor as they target the poor and middle class?
What does it mean to celebrate Equality Day when you are anything but white, heterosexual, Christian and male in a state that refuses to pass a hate crimes law?
How do you celebrate Equality Day in the only state in the union that refuses to cooperate with the federal government in resettling refugees fleeing the most dangerous and war-torn counties on the earth?
What does it mean for a Wyoming Muslim to celebrate Equality Day in a state where two-thirds of your neighbors voted for a presidential candidate who promised to impose religious tests targeting Muslims, who falsely claimed to have seen Muslims celebrate as the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11, who said he’d establish a Muslim registry?
How can Equality Day be celebrated at all when state lawmakers are planning to amend to Wyoming Constitution to make sure that white privilege is the law of the land and that anyone deemed a minority will not have what they call “special rights,” which is code for denying equal rights?
How do you celebrate Equality Day when your two United States Senators are going to vote to confirm Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions for U.S. Attorney General despite his opposition to voting rights and gay rights and his support of torture?
We can celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday knowing he would never have willingly allowed his name to be associated with a holiday celebrating the kind of inequality which characterizes the so-called “Equality State.”