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Wyoming House committee rejects civil unions

Timothy Kincaid

January 30th, 2011

From the Star-Tribune

Legislation that would have made Wyoming the third state to recognize civil unions narrowly failed in the House Judiciary Committee on Friday.

The 5-4 vote to defeat House Bill 150 came after hours of impassioned testimony from supporters who said civil unions would give same-sex couples basic rights and opponents who claimed civil unions were a thinly disguised stepping stone to gay marriage.

Some who voted against the bill left open the possibility of support for a differently worded bill.

But state Reps. Bob Nicholas, R-Cheyenne, and Frank Peasley, R-Douglas, who cast the deciding votes against the bill, opposed the proposal not on ideological grounds, but rather because they worried the wording of the bill — which almost exactly mirrored the rights and responsibilities Wyoming law lists for marriage -– could lead to legal pitfalls in the future.

In the meanwhile, I would support a petition to have Wyoming change it’s motto from “Equal Rights” and it’s nickname from “the Equality State”.

And with Wyoming’s bill to ban recognition of out-of-state relationships, I would just love to see California, New Jersey, and others pass a truth in advertising law that requires all tourism advertising in the state to warn residents that their legal rights and contracts will not be honored.



January 30th, 2011 | LINK

I just emailed


Not that I have a great impact on your tourism but I am canceling my trip to Wyoming and yellowstone this summer. Recent action in your capital has made my partner and I not feel welcome in your state. Within the last month a bill to grant LGBT citizens in Wyoming basic legal rights for their relationship was killed in the house committee. Whats worse, your legislature has just passed a ban on recognition of out-of-state same-sex relationships. So if something happened to one of us while we were there, who knows what kind of legal nightmare we would encounter. Laws and attitudes like that don’t make your state very welcoming to outsiders. So much for your state motto… I’ll take my vacation dollars elsewhere.


Gay Activist Ryan
January 30th, 2011 | LINK

Wyoming’s motto should be now called:

“Where we treat gays like unequal pieces of shit and everyone else is equal”.

I just found out the motto called the “the equality state” – started because Wyoming was the first US state to allow women the right to vote way back in 1887!!!!!

It really makes me ANGRY to be treated like a second class citizen every day – even today in 2011!!!!

Gay Activist Ryan
January 30th, 2011 | LINK

Remember back in 1998 Matthew Shepard got bashed in that state – I see now NOTHING has changed since!!!!!!

Gay Activist Ryan
January 30th, 2011 | LINK

Pomo you are ALWAYS welcome in beautiful Vermont!!!!!

Spend your tax and tourist dollars there!!!!!

January 31st, 2011 | LINK

I wonder what those “legal pitfalls” might be?

Doesn’t Washington State have “everything-but-marriage”, and has there been a tsunami or has Mt. St. Helens blown it’t top off again?

– I think not.

and Ryan,
Thanks! for that bit of history. Nice!

Wyoming – NOT the Equality State!

Overall, why are we voting on Civil Rights in the first place? Whether it be Gay issues or others, this is wrong.

I’ll put all of my available contributions into the Prop 8 Case for now. Our rights shall obviously not come from the legislatures.

January 31st, 2011 | LINK

@Ryan… thanks! My partner and I spent our tax dollars there last summer and my partner wants to move there now. haha. I’m not ready for those winters but maybe someday…

Ben in Oakland
January 31st, 2011 | LINK

I just sent this, not that it will do any good.

Your legislature, amidst all of the actual pressing business, felt it had the time and necessity to not only ban same-sex marriage, but to ban recognition of same sex relationships legally entered into out of your state. So much for The Equality State. Apparently, equality before the law applies only to some people, and who could possibly care about the havoc such laws can and have wreaked on the lives of gay and lesbian Americans.

My husband’s– yes, we are legally married– family is coming from Germany this summer to visit. They want to see our wonderful national parks, especially Yellowstone. Ten of us were planning on going to Wyoming. Now we are not. We’ll see Yosemite, and then head north to Oregon.

I will not put my family into the legal jeopardy that being in your state will provide us. I doubt if your legislature gives a rat’s ass about it, and perhaps you don’t either. but sheer meanness is not a good basis for public policy.

This kind of small-minded vindictiveness is the perfect example of why our political discourse is poisoned, our political will is paralyzed, and our country is in obvious decline.

Priya Lynn
January 31st, 2011 | LINK

Way to go Ben.

Mark F.
January 31st, 2011 | LINK

Do you boycotters also boycott all other states that don’t have gay marriage or civil unions? Just asking.

Ben in Oakland
January 31st, 2011 | LINK

On the whole, I tend to avoid most of them most of the time. I decided long ago– say around 2004, for some reason or other — that my tourist dollars were better spent outside of this country.

I’m not perfect on it, but so far I have managed to avoid visiting any truly anti-gay state.

Mark F.
February 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Ben, do you think California should be boycotted because of Prop 8?

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