Wyoming Hub




Wyoming Lawmaker Stands by Book Claiming Gays Use AIDS as a Weapon Against Straight People

Wyoming state Rep. Troy Mader is standing by a book he wrote three decades ago during the AIDS crisis which advocated quarantine for sexually active gay men and warns that they prey on children, the Casper Star-Tribune reports:

MaderMader said in an interview with the Star-Tribune the research featured in the book may be a little outdated, since it was written when HIV and AIDS were still relatively new to the medical community. But he still maintains gays are more likely to be promiscuous that heterosexuals, contributing to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

“If you want to participate in that particular lifestyle, that’s your choice,” he said during a telephone interview. “But I reserve the right to say, ‘Hey, there’s risk involved.’”

The AP notes that part of the thesis of the self-published The Death Sentence of AIDS: Vital Information For You and Your Family’s Health and Safety, is that gays use AIDS as a weapon against straight people:

Among the claims in the book are, “[h]omosexuals…purposely infected women to pass AIDS infection into the straight population,” and that “[m]any homosexuals demand the right to have sexual acts with children of any age, including infants.”

The Star-Tribune adds:

The book is mostly comprised of quotes that Mader compiled from sources ranging from Newsweek to “What Homosexuals Do (It’s More than Disgusting),” a publication by Paul Cameron, who is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay propagandist. The law center is an organization that investigates what it describes as acts of hate.

Mader's views on marriage are equally archaic:

“I’ll be honest with you: We don’t have standing to change the definition of marriage,” he said. “We didn’t make it. Either nature did, if you believe in evolution, or God did, if you believe in the Bible. But either way, it happened at a time and we can’t effect that change.”

Marriage between one man and one woman has been the pillar of society since the beginning of history, he said.

“And we can play words semantics all we want, but we don’t have the standing to change it,” he said. “It will remain the same regardless of what any legislature does.”

Mader was sworn in this year to represent House District 52 after the death of GOP Rep. Sue Wallis.


Four Couples File Suit Challenging Wyoming's Gay Marriage Ban

Four gay couples and Wyoming Equality filed suit today challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage, NCLR reports:

WyomingThe couples include a university professor, a Major in the Army Reserve, a sheepherder, and an attorney. Many of the Plaintiffs were born and raised in Wyoming.

The lawsuit challenges Wyoming’s statute barring same-sex couples from marrying and the state’s refusal to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who married in other states, arguing that they violate the Wyoming Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The couples are Cora Courage and Wyoma “Nonie” Proffit of Evanston, Carl Oleson and Rob Johnston of Casper, Anne Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson of Laramie, and Ivan Williams and Chuck Killion of Cheyenne. Wyoming Equality is the state’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Wyoming’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Its members include same-sex couples throughout the state.

The four couples and Wyoming Equality are represented by Cheyenne attorney Tracy Zubrod, the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP, the law firm of Rathod Mohamedbahi LLC, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Read the complaint and more about the case here.


Wyoming House Rejects Marriage Equality Bill in 41-17 Vote

ConnollyWyoming's House of Representatives has voted 41-17 to reject a bill that would have given gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry, the Casper Star-Tribune reports:

House Bill 87, sponsored by Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, would have changed the law that says marriage is a contract between a male and female to marriage being a contract between two natural persons.

...Connolly, who is openly gay, said there are 12,877 gay people in Wyoming. On a personal note, she said she’s lived in Wyoming for two decades and has chosen to raise her son here.

“If I want to get married to the woman that I love, I want to do it here,” she said.


Liz Cheney Abandoning Senate Bid, Cites 'Health Issues' in Family

Liz Cheney is dropping out of the U.S. Senate primary in Wyoming to unseat Mike Enzi, CNN reports:

Liz_cheney"Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign," she said. Cheney, the eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, began telling associates of her decision over the weekend, CNN reported late Sunday night.

"Though this campaign stops today, my commitment to keep fighting with you and your families for the fundamental values that have made this nation and Wyoming great will never stop," she added.

***

Enzi was a low-key presence in Washington who was elected in 1996 and, with few blemishes, amassed a conservative voting record in the Senate. He expressed public annoyance at Cheney's decision to mount a primary challenge. A number of his Senate colleagues quickly rallied to his side and pledged support for his re-election bid.

As you may recall, Cheney's bid caused a public family spat to break out over her positions on LGBT rights:

Mary, over the issue of same-sex marriage. Mary Cheney, who is a lesbian, took to Facebook in November to object to Liz's opposition to same-sex marriage, claiming that her sister has previously supported her relationship while saying something very different on the campaign trail. The dispute prompted their parents to weigh in, saying they were "pained" to see the sisters battle over a private matter in full view of the news media.


Mary Cheney 'Not Supporting Liz's Candidacy' For Wyoming Senate Seat

Cheneys

In an article titled, "The Race That Broke the Cheney Family," Politico's Jason Zengerle delves into the Cheney family feud that ensued after Liz Cheney, embroiled in a primary challenge for fellow Republican Mike Enzi's Wyoming senate seat, a race she was early on anticipated to win, publicly announced her opposition to same-sex marriage. Liz's sister, Mary, is openly gay and married with children and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, is also notably pro-marriage equality. Politico reports:

Unbeknownst even to some of her closest friends and advisers, [Liz's] newly announced opposition to gay marriage had caused a major rift in the famously close Cheney family, and she and Mary were no longer on speaking terms. Days after we talked it all became public, when, in a series of Facebook posts as devastating as they were surprising, Mary blasted her sister’s stance against marriage equality. “Liz’s position is to treat my family as second class citizens,” Mary wrote. “This isn't like a disagreement over grazing fees or what to do about Iran.” The public rebuke was the first communication between the sisters since August, and soon their parents, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, found themselves dragged into the imbroglio, issuing a statement defending Liz.

But Mary wasn’t done speaking out. In a series of emails to me this week, as the news of her break with her sister spread, Mary wrote, “I’m not supporting Liz’s candidacy.” She later clarified: “By supporting, I mean not working, not contributing, and not voting for (I’m registered in Virginia not Wyoming).” The best she could say of the sister who was once her close friend and confidante was a final postscript: “I am not saying I hope she loses to Enzi.”

As previously reported, one of Mary's most pointed posts on Facebook referenced Liz's comments on Fox News: "Liz - this isn't just an issue on which we disagree - you're just wrong - and on the wrong side of history." Though Mary and Liz were previously close, particularly during their father's tenure as Vice President, both sisters having worked on the 2000 and 2004 campaigns, the question of gay marriage has seemingly torn the fabric that once united the Cheney family: “'It’s very un-Cheney-like for one arm of the family to do something the other part doesn’t know about in the political sphere and cause any degree of heartburn,' says one former adviser to Dick Cheney."


Liz Cheney Attempts To Stop New Attack Ad

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Liz Cheney's campaign team wants that new television attack ad claiming she supports same-sex marriage to be removed from broadcast schedules. The tv spot, funded by right wing super PAC the American Principles Fund, began airing in Wyoming earlier this week.

The U.S. Senate candidate's team has sent letters to several television stations in the region asking them to pull the ad.

Caspar Star-Tribune reports that the PAC's own team has not wasted any time with a response to Cheney's request.

Legal counsel for the American Principles Fund, the conservative super PAC funding the ad, sent a rebuttal to operators and stations that received a letter from the Cheney campaign. The super PAC’s legal counsel claimed every aspect of the ad was correct and all facts were available for the public to see.

“In making these statements, the (Cheney letter) attempts to divert the station's attention away from the actual text of the Advertisement, all of which is entirely supported by the public record,” wrote American Principles Fund attorney Douglas Chalmers Jr. “Indeed, the principle (sic) source for the advertisement is Ms. Cheney's own recorded words, as broadcast on national television.”

Read the full rebuttal letter by the American Principles Fund here.

The ad has not been pulled and is still scheduled to run through next week. In case you missed it the first time, watch it, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Liz Cheney Attempts To Stop New Attack Ad" »


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