The Cheyenne City Council is considering an anti-harassment ordinance that one sponsor says is essentially a local hate crimes law.

That's how city councilman Richard Johnson characterizes the proposal that he and several other council members are proposing for Cheyenne.

Here is the proposal:

Malicious harassment based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, or disability.
A. It shall be unlawful and an offense for any person to maliciously and with the specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, or disability, commit any of the following acts: 1. Assault, batter, assault and batter of another person; 2. Damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, trespass upon, or steal any real or personal property of another person; or 3. Threaten, by word or act, to do any act prohibited by subparagraph 1. or 2. of this subsection if there is reasonable cause to believe that such act will occur.
B. It shall be unlawful and an offense for any person to maliciously and with specific intent to incite or produce, and which is likely to incite or produce, imminent violence, which violence would be directed against another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, or disability, make or transmit, or cause or allow to be made or transmitted, any telephonic, computerized, or electronic message.
C. It shall be unlawful and an offense for any person to maliciously and with specific intent to incite or produce, and which is likely to incite or produce, imminent violence, which violence would be directed against another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, or disability, broadcast, publish, or distribute, or cause or allow to be broadcast, published, or distributed, any message or material.
D. Any person violating any provision of subsection A., B. or C. of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor on a first offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished pursuant to the general provisions of Section 1.24.010 of the city code, excluding costs, fees, and assessments, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Violators of the ordinance would be liable for a fine of up to $750 and/or six months in jail.
You can read more about the proposal here.
Supporters of the measure say the lack of such a law is hurting economic development in Cheyenne, and that existing laws don't adequately cover harassment that many people may feel in the city. They say that some people don't feel safe, whatever existing laws may be on the books
But opponents argue that laws are already in place and that the measure is more of a "feel good" proposal than something that is needed. Some opponents also argue that the ordinance could be used to muzzle free speech, an argument that Johnson and other supporters dispute.
So what do you think? Do you support the anti-harassment ordinance? Take our poll and give us your opinion!