Wyoming State House Bill 74, the “Validity of Marriages” bill, WILL BE HEARD TOMORROW (on MLK/Equality Day, natch) at the State Capitol building in Cheyenne, Rm. 302, upon adjournment (3-4 p.m.). This bill will INVALIDATE the marriages of same-sex couples in Wyoming. Currently, Wyoming does not allow same-sex marriage, so this bill will affect couples married outside Wyoming, who chose to make the Equality State their home. Read the text of the bill here.
If you live in Wyoming and can get to Cheyenne, go give testimony before the Education committee and remind them that we are “The Equality State”.
If you can’t make it, or live outside Wyoming, email the Wyoming State House representatives on this list:
Matt Teeters (R) [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Bob Brechtel (R) [email@example.com]
Donald Burkhart, Jr (R) [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Cathy Connolly (D) [email@example.com]
John Freeman (D) [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Kendell Kroeker (R) [email@example.com]
Samuel Krone (R) [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Bunky Loucks (R) [email@example.com]
Michael Madden (R) [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Update - I know it doesn’t seem like we can do this, but here’s the explanation:
Both Anderson and House Speaker Ed Buchanan, R-Torrington, have said they believe the Legislature needs to address the issue of whether Wyoming will recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
One provision of Wyoming law already specifies that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman, but state law also says Wyoming will recognize marriages that are valid in other states. A handful of other states allow same-sex marriages.
Anderson and Buchanan say that a same-sex divorce case pending in the Wyoming Supreme Court shows the need for more clarity in state law.
Here’s the info on the case:
Both legislative supporters and opponents of gay marriage are taking inspiration from a district court judge’s ruling that same-sex couples can’t get divorced in Wyoming.
Last November, Judicial District Court Judge Keith Kautz refused to grant a divorce to a Lusk couple, Paula and Victoria Lee Christiansen, who married in Canada in 2006.
In his ruling, Kautz stated that there’s a conflict in Wyoming law about whether the state recognizes legal same-sex marriages from outside the state. A Wyoming statute defines marriage as a contract “between a male and a female person,” but state law also recognizes any valid marriage performed outside the state.