Last year, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that would prohibit judges from consulting sharia law in their decisions. A federal judge promptly blocked the ban, saying the case goes “to the very foundation of our country.”
But that’s not going to stop one Wyoming lawmaker from trying for a repeat.
State Rep. Gerald Gay (R) is proposing a similar ballot measure that would prevent judges from using sharia, or Islamic, law in their decisions. Like the Oklahoma measure, it would also block “international” law – which could cause unseen effects for Wyoming’s American Indian population.
And, again like in Oklahoma, Gay admits that sharia has not been a problem in his state. Echoing the works of Okla. State Rep. Rex Duncan (R), he calls it a “pre-emptive strike.” He told the Billings Gazette that he doesn’t want judges using Islamic tenets in cases involving honor killings or arranged marriages.
According to one 2000 estimate by Penn State’s Association of Religion Data Archives, there are fewer than 300 Muslims in Wyoming.
For the background on Gerald Gay, see Mother Jones, 26 January 2011