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Wyoming Senate narrowly votes not to recognize out-of-state marriages

Timothy Kincaid

February 18th, 2011


The Wyoming Senate narrowly voted Friday to stop recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions from outside the state.

House Bill 74 passed 16-14 after tagging on a last-second amendment guaranteeing out-of-state couples in civil unions access to Wyoming courts.

This is closer than might have been expected. Ten Republicans joined all four Democrats in voting “No”.

Further, the language of this bill is interesting. It appears to invalidate all same-sex marriage, but only invalidate civil unions that would not be recognized in Wyoming. I may be misreading this, but it does seem to leave open the possibility of a civil unions bill being passed.



February 19th, 2011 | LINK

The bill passed because Bill Landen (R, Casper) changed his pledge to vote against the bill at the last minute. It’s not clear why he did this.

The bill must now go back to the house for a vote to approve the amendments to this bill, which may have the effect of seriously limiting its impact. The proposed amendment to the state Constitution appears unlikely to reach a full vote.

At one point in the Senate, HB74 included an amendment that would have obliged the state to alter its “welcome” signs at the border, advising motorists of the new law. Sadly, that language was removed.

February 21st, 2011 | LINK

As a proud Wyomingite, I am saddened that my home state passed a bill which is in direct violation of article 1 section 2, and section 3 of the state constitution.

The state constitution clearly states:

Article 1, Section 2. Equality of all.

In their inherent right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, all members of the human race are equal.

Article 1, Section 3. Equal political rights.

Since equality in the enjoyment of natural and civil rights is only made sure through political equality, the laws of this state affecting the political rights and privileges of its citizens shall be without distinction of race, color, sex, or any circumstance or condition whatsoever other than individual incompetency, or unworthiness duly ascertained by a court of competent jurisdiction.

It seems these articles need to be amended to make HB74 legal…

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