Wyoming House votes down a marriage bill

Timothy Kincaid

February 13th, 2014

From SFGate

The Wyoming House has defeated a bill that would have changed state law to allow same-sex marriages.

Democratic Rep. Cathy Connolly of Laramie sponsored the bill. It would have removed the state’s current legal specification that marriage is a civil contract between a man and a woman.

The House voted 41-to-17 against the bill on Thursday.

I don’t think anyone expected this bill to pass. What’s interesting, however, is that the Wyoming House has 52 Republicans and 8 Democrats. Which means that a marriage equality bill in Wyoming got the support of 9 Republicans.

And that is a sign of progress.


February 13th, 2014

The bigots are gradually losing ground, even in Republican strongholds. It’s happening in Indiana as well.


February 13th, 2014

I will agree. There was progress in Wyoming today.

However, the hurdle was higher this session as this is Wyoming’s budget session and any unrelated legislation will only be considered if there is a two-thirds vote in the chamber.

I think there will be a better chance next year to win in Wyoming. Maybe.


February 14th, 2014

Note that Wyoming’s media markets are far and away the cheapest in the US, so there’s plenty of opportunity for a public education/persuasion campaign heading toward next year.

However, I suspect that the 10th Circuit will uphold the Utah and Oklahoma cases and the SCOTUS will deny cert, rendering the issue moot as WY is in the 10th.


February 14th, 2014

I think with a campaign like we had in Minnesota and Indiana, we have a strong chance of winning in Wyoming next year. Mike Mead is far from being homophobic, and I actually think he would sign such legislation.

Remember too that a lot of the NO votes were likely did so because they didn’t want the issue to come up during a budget year, which has only a 20 day session.


February 14th, 2014

The Legislature actually defeated two marriage bills, one that would have allowed for equal treatment of LGBTQ Wyomingites and another, sponsored by the rabidly homophobic and ironically named Gerald Gay (R Natrona), which would have changed Wyoming’s statute to prohibit recognition of same sex marriages. The existing statute recognizes all marriages legal in the jurisdiction in which they were originally performed. This statute permitted the state to recognize a same sex marriage two years ago, albeit for the purposes of a divorce hearing.

As Sam mentioned, this is a budget year in the Wyoming Legislature and the votes reflect the willingness of legislators to take up a debate in a session that statutorily limited to 20 working days. In that light, the 9 votes in favor of marriage equality are more significant than might be imagined as they reflect a break with House leaders.


February 14th, 2014

I’m kind of shocked that a pro-marriage bill made it to the floor at all in a chamber controlled by Republicans. In most states, the legislative agenda is tightly controlled by the majority party. Apparently, it’s different in Wyoming.

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