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Wyoming Hub



04/19/2007


Liz Cheney: 'I am Not Pro-Gay Marriage'

Cheney

Liz Cheney, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Wyoming, reacted yesterday to charges by her opponent that she "aggressively promotes" gay marriage, ABC News reports:

Cheney is running for the U.S. Senate in Wyoming, challenging fellow Republican Sen. Mike Enzi. In a statement today she accused the Enzi campaign of conducting a “push poll” in the state, which asks “Are you aware that Liz Cheney supports abortion and aggressively promotes gay marriage?”

The Enzi campaign categorically denied it conducted the poll.

“I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage,” Cheney said in a statement, adding that she believes “the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves.”

“The people of Wyoming deserve an honest campaign.  They should not be subject to the kind of dirty tricks this push poll represents.  I call on Senator Enzi to denounce this poll and to tell the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or anyone else promoting untruths on his behalf, to stop,” Cheney said.

Cheney's statement breaks with other members of her family. Her sister Mary, who is gay, and her mother and father Dick and Lynne Cheney, support marriage equality.


Will Liz Cheney Destroy the Wyoming Republican Party? - VIDEO

Liz Cheney

Former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Liz Cheney has announced her bid for the US Senate to represent her home state of Wyoming. As a result, Fox News terminated her position as a political analyst, a position she has held since January 2012. Rather than shady shenanigans, however, the reason for her termination was to avoid a conflict-of-interest, and the practice of terminating contracts when political analysts announce candidacy for office is used by most cable news networks. Cheney will be running against Republican Senator Mike Enzi for the seat, who announced his candidacy on Tuesday afternoon.

Enzi is against all forms of abortion, voted for measures to ban gay marriage and flag desecration, is a strong supporter of gun rights, supports partial privatization of Social Security and has voted against expanding Medicare. He takes a hard view on immigration, has voted to uphold the PATRIOT Act, and opposed any reduction in wiretapping and extending rights to Guantanamo Bay detainees.

To compare, Cheney co-founded the non-profit group Keep America Safe which supports keeping Guantanamo open, called DOJ attorneys terrorist sympathizers for defending Gitmo detainees, supports gay marriage and the repeal of DADT, defended Halliburton, and has a track record of lying or distorting the facts when discussing the Obama and Bush administrations such as claiming that Obama has engaged in a "strategic retreat" from the war on terror.

According to former Republican Senator Alan K. Simpson in an interview last week, “[it will be] the destruction of the Republican Party of Wyoming if she decides to run and he runs, too. It’s a disaster — a divisive, ugly situation — and all it does is open the door for the Democrats for 20 years.”

The video announcing Cheney's bid can be seen AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Will Liz Cheney Destroy the Wyoming Republican Party? - VIDEO" »


Wyoming More Progressive On Gay Rights Than It Seems

Amid last week's celebrations over the Supreme Courts rulings in favor of marriage equality, one could not help but consider those LGBT people living in states with same-sex marriage bans and zero gay anti-discrimination laws protecting them.

That's what makes the The New York Times' recent article on the slowly changing gay rights landscape of Wyoming so worthwhile.

Wyoming_flagRemember, this is the state where openly gay student Matthew Shepard got murdered in an anti-gay hate crime 15 years ago. The state is largely red with over 69 percent of its votes in the 2012 elections going towards the GOP.

But while the Supreme Court decisions won't make life any easier for LGBT couples in the so-called "Equality State," the decision may help accelerate the state's gradual thaw towards legally protecting LGBT couples:

Like 36 other states, Wyoming limits marriage to a man and a woman. State lawmakers have voted down attempts to include gay and transgender people in Wyoming’s antidiscrimination laws. There are no hate-crime laws on the books, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group…

Wyoming has never been easy to pigeonhole when it comes to gay rights. Republicans dominate state and local politics, and support for gun rights, low taxes and small government runs as deep as groundwater. But so does a cowboy libertarian streak, residents say, rooted in ranches, homesteads and a notion of “You live your life, and I’ll live mine.”

Wyoming repealed its sodomy law in 1977, a generation before the Supreme Court declared such laws unconstitutional. Several times in recent years, Republican lawmakers have rejected efforts by social conservatives to ban the recognition of same-sex marriages from other states or to add “defense of marriage” amendments to the State Constitution.

The article focuses on the domestic partnership bill created by the state's only openly gay legislator, State Representative Cathy Connolly. The bill would have given same-sex couples most of the rights of marriage. But even though it passed with bipartisan support out of committee, it later died in the house in a 35 to 24 vote . Nevertheless, it still did better than similar bills had in the past, and its final vote count is impressive when you consider that the Wyoming State House has 52 Republicans and only eight Democrats.

Though the Wyoming legislature rejected a bill to legalize same-sex marriage earlier this year, the state has also managed to stave off a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions, making the state less conservative in practice than its political makeup might lead you to think.


Wyoming House Rejects Domestic Partnership Bill in 35-24 Vote

The first pro-gay legislation that has reached Wyoming's House floor for debate was defeated Wednesday as the House voted 35-24 to reject a domestic partnership bill that would have given same-sex couples in the state the opportunity to gain most of the legal rights of marriage,

WyomingThe Billings Gazette reports:

Opponents warned that the bill threatened to open the state to legal action seeking to force it to approve same-sex marriage.

Rep. Mark Baker, R-Rock Springs, spoke against the measure, saying: "We all know that this is about same-sex marriage and civil unions." Baker also contended gays and lesbians have particular health issues, and said approving the bill would increase health care costs.

"The fact of the matter is that this is something that's pushed on us to be politically correct. 'Let's be the Equality State,'" Baker said, mimicking bill supporters. "The fact of the matter is that there are disastrous consequences to this bill."

Jason Marsden, director of the Denver-based Matthew Shepard Foundation, said the vote was disappointing. He said the bill had offered the Legislature a chance to sidestep the issues of religion, marriage and social tradition while still recognizing that there are thousands of gay people in the state. "These families are going to live and grow up and die in the absence of meaningful legal protection for their families," Marsden said.


Wyoming House Panel Rejects Marriage Equality Bill in 5-4 Vote, but Advances Domestic Partnership Bill

Panel_wyoming

The Wyoming House Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee rejected HB169, a marriage equality bill, in a 5-4 vote, before advancing HB 168, a domestic partnership bill, to the full House in a 7-2 vote this afternoon.

An update from Wyoming Equality: Wyoming

The law, which was authored by Representative Cathy Connolly, would provide essential protections to LGBT families. The Domestic Partnerships Rights and Responsibilities Act (HB168) would ensure that both opposite-sex and same-sex couples have basic legal protections, such as the ability to make emergency medical decisions for each other and to make joint decisions about their children’s health and wellbeing.

"This is a historic day for equality," said Jeran Artery, the Chair of Wyoming Equality. "Today marks the first time a bill has moved forward in the Wyoming legislature which would provide essential protections for LGBT families."

Mr. Artery provided testimony to the committee, explaining that the laws would not only protect his partner and his teenage daughter, but all families across the state. "We know that there are LGBT people living in nearly every county across the state, and many of those people are raising families. All families deserve to live safely and securely without fear that basic decisions about their loved ones will not be honored. We know there is still a lot of work to do, but we applaud the actions of this committee and are committed to working with our lawmakers to ensure that legal protections are extended to all families throughout Wyoming."

HB168 will now move to the full House of Representatives as early as tomorrow.

Here's the bill.


News: Cooper As Armstrong, Palin's Media Future, 78, Body Image

1NewsIcon Simply revolted over the idea of two men marrying, an Episcopal priest has decided to stop having sex with his wife in order to become a Catholic priest.

BOHC1NewsIcon President Obama thanks Hillary Clinton during a joint interview that will air on 60 Minutes tonight. He added, "It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I'm going to miss her, wish she was sticking around, but she has logged in so many miles I can't begrudge her wanting to take it easy for a little bit."

1NewsIcon Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton's Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters topped the box office this weekend, but was still considered a disappointment with only an $19 million domestic haul.

1NewsIcon The tweet in which Darren Criss plays with his keyboard.

1NewsIcon And of course we all know how to play the plastic recorder.

1NewsIcon Does a best picture win at the Producer's Guild Awards give Argo an Oscar advantage?

DNAYou1NewsIcon How valuable is your DNA information? Not very, according to New Scientist: "Having your genome open to public scrutiny obviously raises privacy issues. Employers and insurers may be interested. Embarrassing family secrets may be exposed.But overall, personal genetic information is probably no more revealing than other sorts. In fact there are reasons to believe that it is less so: would an insurance company really go to the trouble of decoding a genome to discover a slightly elevated risk of cancer or Alzheimer's disease?"

1NewsIcon After being booted from Fox News, Sarah Palin is optimistic about her future in media: "As far as long-term plans, the door is wide open... I know the country needs more truth-telling in the media, and I'm willing to do that. So, we shall see."

1NewsIcon Bradley Cooper as Lance Armstrong in a JJ Abrams-directed biopic?

1NewsIcon Beyonce lives it up.

1NewsIcon The Republicans continue to lose their grip on the West.

MenInEden1NewsIcon Same-sex desire in the fur trade: "William Drummond Stewart, a member of the lower Scottish nobility and the subject of this biography, came primarily to hunt and to experience the wide-open freedom of the northern Great Plains and Rockies (think modern-day African safaris). Stewart’s story, however, and as the subtitle of this book implies, has a twist: He was an openly gay man at a time when being gay was to risk ignominious public punishment (including hanging in some areas of the British isles) and the certain ruination of reputation and fortune."

1NewsIcon Is Wyoming thawing on gay issues: "It remains to be seen whether gay rights supporters in the overwhelmingly Republican Wyoming Legislature can pass measures that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, create civil unions or even gay marriage. So far, nine of the legislature's 78 Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors of the various bills. Eight of the Legislature's 12 Democrats are on board with at least one of the bills. Committee hearings on two of the bills were scheduled for Monday."

1NewsIcon French sailor Francois Gabart only needed 78 days to go around the world.

1NewsIcon On gay men and body image.


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