Friday, January 7, 2011

Wyoming Gay Marriage Battle Looms

      The battle over gay marriage is one that just won't seem to die in states all across America. In some, Maryland, New York, and Rhode Island, this push for marriage equality is very much appreciated by LGBT activists. But, in the next legislative session of the Congress of Wyoming a battle over gay marriage is looming. According to the Casper Star Tribune, a bill will be introduced next week that will not allow the state to recognize out of state marriages unless they are between one man and one woman. 

Rep. Bob Brechtel, R-Casper, is a sponsor of a proposed bill that would prohibit Wyoming from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. Other sponsors include House Speaker Ed Buchanan, R-Torrington.
The bill would specify that no court in Wyoming would have jurisdiction over same-sex marriage, or marriage in which "there are more than two parties to the contract."
Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, campaigned on a platform that included favoring defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. While Mead has said he can't prejudge the particulars of any bill before it reaches his desk, he said he would consider signing such a bill into law.
Brechtel said Friday that he believes most Wyoming residents support the idea of defining marriage as existing only between a man and a woman.
"It is a value that people hold in this state...." Brechtel said. "Certainly the state has a vested interest in how families develop. We know that psychologically, families do best when there is a mom and a day in the home."
Last year, a Colorado Springs-based evangelical group, Focus on the Family Action, made calls to Wyoming voters encouraging them to contact lawmakers to vote for the legislation that would have allowed the constitutional change.
Asked whether there was a religious motive behind this year's bill, Brechtel said, "I think anybody would have to admit that most of us do not operate within a moral vacuum, either. While we want to do what we believe is best in terms of the state, there are arguments for what they consider the sanctity of marriage, as it was designed by a creator _ the design of family by a creator."
LGBT activists in the state are not going to let this just happen however. In the same article, openly lesbian Representative Cathy Connolly will be introducing two bills: one that would allow gay marriages to be performed in the State, the other allowing Civil Unions. Let us hope in the end that Connolly is correct when she states, "I think Wyomingites very much believe in our state motto that we're the `Equality State," Time will only tell. 

For any of my readers who reside in Wyoming, be sure to contact your local representative. The House of Representatives and Senates switchboard number is 307-777-7881 and their web address is...

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