Gay Marriage | News | Wyoming

Bill to Ban Same-Sex Marriages from Elsewhere Advances in WY

Wyoming's house Education Committee advanced a bill that would prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, the Billings Gazette reports:

Wyoming With the 7-2 approval of House Bill 74 by the Education Committee — which in the past hasn't been assigned gay-marriage bills — the legislation now must pass three votes by the full House before it would head to the Senate.

Supporters of HB 74, including the bill's sponsor, state Rep. Owen Petersen, R-Mountain View, said the legislation was needed simply to resolve a conflict in Wyoming law. A Wyoming statute defines marriage as a contract “between a male and a female person,” but state law also recognizes any valid marriage performed outside the state.

House Majority Leader Tom Lubnau, R-Gillette, said that, as a “virtue of consistency,” Wyoming law should either recognize all gay marriages or no gay marriages. And, in talking with his constituents, he said, it's clear on which side of that debate they fall.

“They have been very, very, very, very clear that they desire the policy of the state of Wyoming to be marriage is between a man and a woman,” Lubnau said. “That's how they want their policy; that's how they want their society to look.”

Lawmakers believe they have the votes to pass HB74 as well as a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, the paper adds.

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  1. Communities can be very, very, very, very clear in their desire for a lot of things. That doesn't mean they're right, and it doesn't mean that we have to lower our civil rights standards to accommodate the whims of the mob. Our constitution is above popular vote.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jan 18, 2011 11:18:25 AM

  2. I hope Wyoming realizes the irony of this, since their state's nickname is ''The Equality State'' (because it was the first state to grant women the right to vote, serve on juries and run for office).

    Maybe it's time to rename it ''The State of Homophobia.'' Or ''The State of Inequality.''

    Posted by: WWNYC | Jan 18, 2011 11:36:24 AM

  3. “That's how they want their policy; that's how they want their society to look.”

    "...yeah, and if we could, we'd make sure those awful negros wouldn't be able to marry our white women ...and wasn't our society better off with slavery? Ah... those were the good ol' days."

    Wyoming is the 'Equality State'. Irony anyone?

    Posted by: David in Houston | Jan 18, 2011 11:38:26 AM

  4. And let's not forget it's the state where Matthew Shepard was murdered.

    Why, oh, why, Wyoming? :(

    Posted by: WWNYC | Jan 18, 2011 11:40:54 AM

  5. Fine. Let these people waste time passing this sort of legislation. With any luck it will be overturned by the federal courts soon anyway from current lawsuits.

    Posted by: SubZero | Jan 18, 2011 1:06:35 PM

  6. Have you ever BEEN TO Wyoming? It's an utter wasteland.

    I say, let the white trash bigots have it all to themselves.

    Posted by: 5280man | Jan 18, 2011 1:07:27 PM

  7. We're not all "white trash bigots" here in Wyo, 5280MAN... And Wyoming's not a total wasteland- there are great people here, but more often than not, our "representatives" don't listen to us because our opinions or beliefs don't align with their own. There's potential for us to be a great state... here's hoping equality wins this one.

    Posted by: Jason | Jan 18, 2011 1:35:00 PM

  8. The last bellows of dying elephants. This pandering to fear and homophobia is on its way out. Wyoming is about to learn how futile it is to try to swim against the tide.

    Just a few more years and we will be citizens everywhere in the US.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Jan 18, 2011 1:47:29 PM

  9. While I do see this particular bill passing, I just don't see a constitutional amendment passing easily. In 2009, the first vote on the amendment failed 35-25 after several Republicans spoke out against it. While Republicans have increased their majorities in the Wyoming Legislature, you need a 2/3rds vote in each house to pass it (40 votes in the House and 20 votes in the Senate).

    Best chance to stop it is in the House. Need to find 12 Republicans to get the effort to fail.

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 18, 2011 2:01:26 PM

  10. over 60 years ago every state in the Union had a law that prohibited "Miscegenation" (Inter racial Marriage) it took almost 50 years for those laws to be finally overturned! So for all those states (some 37) which Ban Same Sex Marriage (or honoring SSM from other venues)the day will come, when just like Sodomy Laws, they too will be overturned how long that takes is up to us!!

    Posted by: alexInBoston | Jan 18, 2011 2:09:32 PM

  11. What to make of the deafening silence of Wyoming's own favorite son?

    Yooo hooooo, Mr. Cheney. People tell me you're in favor of marriage equality. Good chance to convince me they're not full of it.

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 18, 2011 3:01:34 PM

  12. Sounds like if your gay and living in Wyoming you need to get out quickly before they decide that "their society" means no gay people at all. Wyoming is a state after all where it is perfectly legal to be married to your cousin. In Texas the GOP want all gay people put in prison but with all the folks here carrying guns, I have to say I fear for my life daily just walking down the street. Kind of sad that in Close Encounters the aliens chose a state that is far from enlightened apparently.

    Posted by: Skooter McGoo | Jan 18, 2011 3:57:54 PM

  13. @5280man

    "Have you ever BEEN TO Wyoming? It's an utter wasteland"

    Try getting out of your gay ghetto and getting and seeing the world!

    Have you ever been to the GRand Tetons and Yellowstone? Spectacular!

    Posted by: Gaychel Blowme Project | Jan 18, 2011 4:09:30 PM

  14. Wyoming SHEEP need a lobbyist to represent / protect them!

    Posted by: Bud Burgoon-Clark | Jan 18, 2011 6:37:18 PM

  15. This is a clear violation of the US Constitution. Each state must recognize the laws of another state.

    Where do these people come from? Land of guns and nuts?

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Jan 18, 2011 7:05:31 PM

  16. The legislation the reps are working on right now is really ridiculous... check this gem out:

    Also, the fact that HB74 went through the EDUCATION committee is bizarre....

    and @Bud- of COURSE there has to be a sheep joke. :)

    Posted by: Jason | Jan 18, 2011 8:10:21 PM

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