By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Casper representative is currently working on legislation that would ban “vaccine passports” in Wyoming, reinforcing an executive order issued by Gov. Mark Gordon last month.
Rep. Chuck Gray said on Monday afternoon that he was drafting a bill to ban vaccine passports on a state level, adding that this type of legislation also needs to be implemented at the federal level.
“The Governor’s Executive Order needs to be strengthened and a ban on vaccine passports needs to be placed in state and federal statute,” Gray wrote on social media, linking to a story from political website The Hill about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signing a bill banning the passports.
Vaccine passports are documents required by businesses or government agencies as proof of a person being vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Last month, Gordon signed an executive order banning the passports, saying they would just continue to divide people about the virus.
“Vaccine passport programs have the potential to politicize a decision that should not be politicized,” Gordon said at the time. “They would divide our citizens at a time when unity in fighting the virus is essential, and harm those who are medically unable to receive the vaccine. While I strongly encourage Wyomingites over the age of 16 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is a personal choice based upon personal circumstances.”
The directive also encouraged Wyoming’s counties, cities and towns, as well as private business, to follow the state’s example in providing access to public spaces and services to all.
This followed the actions of other Republican governors across the country, such as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who issued similar orders over the last two months.
Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets of Nebraska said the idea of any type of medical passport “violates two central tenets of the American system: freedom of movement and health care privacy.”
Gray did not respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment.