Melanie Vigil doesn’t want to marry in Iowa, Massachusetts or New York.

“I want to get married in Laramie,” she said. “It’s my home.”

As a lesbian, though, she is obstructed by Wyoming law from tying the knot in her home state.

Vigil is one of the many faces fighting at the grass-roots level to change the law in the state.

She and a cadre of Wyoming residents, lawmakers and other advocates have been standing on the front lines of a recent multifaceted advocacy blitz replete with a lawsuit, legislation and media campaign where state lawmakers stood on the steps of the Capitol in support of marriage equality.

Now that a full-fledged campaign to overturn state law is underway, Wyoming's gay-rights leaders are launching a host of conversations, panel discussions and town hall meetings, said Jeran Artery, chairman of Wyoming Equality.

“What we’re pushing right now is for friends and families to have conversations on why marriage matters and get people out sharing their stories about how this impacts them,” he said.

On Thursday, Vigil joined a panel of two other speakers at the University of Wyoming to tell students her stories and offer advice about grass-roots activism.

Vigil is a 22-year-old senior at the University of Wyoming and one of the youngest people in the state to throw themselves in the public sphere to work on myriad bottoms-up advocacy initiatives.

She’s juggling her position in academia with the responsibilities of being the legislative aide for Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, the first openly gay lawmaker in Wyoming.

Vigil has a double major and a GPA above 3.7. She is a finalist to win the award for most outstanding female graduate at the university. During the recent 20-day budget session, she was leaving Laramie at 5:30 a.m. to spend her days in the Capitol and returning after 6:30 p.m. to hit the books.

“She is the face of Wyoming and (among the) the individuals we talk about when we talk about retaining people in Wyoming,” Connolly said.

In an age where civic optimism can be drowned out by a cacophony of more entertaining distractions, Vigil propels a “people-before-politics” mantra with a deep-rooted urgency.

“I know I can’t always change minds,” she said. “But I can change laws.”

She told the 20 people in attendance to find their local lawmakers and tell them to support gay marriage. During the recent legislative session, lawmakers defeated a bill that would have defined marriage in the state as a bond “between two natural persons.”

Vigil expressed some dismay over the loss. But then she perked up.

“We got the speaker of the House to vote in favor of it,” she said.

Jessie Irish, a university junior, said that before she listened to Vigil, reaching out to a lawmaker seemed impossible.

“I didn’t realize it was something so accessible,” she said. “I assumed it was a challenge. I imagined receptionists and automated responses.”

Sitting next to Vigil on the panel was Carl Oleson, 54, a Casper resident and former adjunct faculty member at UW.

When he worked at the school in the 1980s, he was openly gay. One day, he arrived at his office to find invectives spray-painted across his windows.

Today, he is a married man. He traveled to Canada to exchange vows with the person he loves. He’s lived in New York and Las Vegas, but the Riverton native’s heartstrings are tied to Wyoming.

He’s been a member or an official of nearly every gay advocacy group that’s existed in the state during the past three decades.

Oleson doesn’t fit the stereotype of the modern gay man as effeminate. He does hate football, but he likened himself to Mr. Clean as he warmed up the audience, sporting a bald head, goatee and leather jacket.

He is a man highly aware of his sexuality and anxious about public perception. He becomes uncomfortable when others in the community become conscious of his lifestyle to the point of discrimination.

He and his partner were buying wedding rings, and one salesperson avoided them completely. Another employee asked Oleson for his "bride’s name."

“I said, ‘Robert.’ She looked up at me and said ‘I have the perfect set of rings,’” he said.

Oleson and his partner, Rob Johnston, signed on to a lawsuit to challenge Wyoming’s marriage laws in state court. They join the National Center for Lesbian Rights and three other Wyoming-based same-sex couples in the suit. It’s the first of its kind in the state and is likely to wind up in the state Supreme Court.

Oleson is quick to recognize that a lawsuit won’t quell bigotry and hatred in the state. But it does provide an example for younger people of how to attack a problem.

He said his goals are to acculturate the next generation of gay leaders and introduce the ideals and morals of the gay community to people unfamiliar with them.

“You can hate an idea a hell of a lot easier than you can hate your neighbor,” he told the students Thursday.

Oleson, Vigil and others in the state aren’t reinventing the wheel when it comes to their advocacy. It’s a person-to-person, neighbor-to-neighbor initiative, they said.

“Wyoming’s so small there aren’t six degrees of separation,” said Jim Osborn, a university employee and longtime activist who spoke with the panel. “You don’t have to walk around with a neon sign, but you have to let people know where you stand.”

Osborn and his partner are fathers to Nessa, a daughter Osborn fathered through a surrogate.

Osborn, a Wright native, has a bellowing voice but isn’t afraid to add a British lilt for some humor. He spoke to the group of students as he held the infant. Sitting close by was a baby bag filled with milk, toys and diapers.

Osborn was a central figure in Laramie after the death of Matthew Shepard, the UW student murdered in the outskirts of Laramie in 1998.

He dressed as an angel to silently protest the late Rev. Fred Phelps when he came to disparage gays during a memorial service for Shepard shortly after the murder.

Osborn has led a litany of pro-gay groups in Laramie. At one time, he was feeling apathetic because he was seeing the same faces at meetings or events. He wanted to see more change and to stop preaching to the choir.

Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, was reading a newspaper and sitting within an earshot of Osborn.

“Sometimes," she told Osborn, "the choir needs practice.”

Contact Kyle

307-266-0596

kyle.roerink@trib.com    

Follow him on Twitter @kyleroerink1

(60) comments

dd ric
dd ric

Kyle,would you interview Enzi,Lummis,Barrasso, and Mead and ask them why their party wants to be in peoples bedrooms? I mean,what can they as a party possibly gain from this argument against marriage? ddric

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Just thought I'd mention it to you, Kyle. Stories as this is what gives Laramie such a "back eye" among the Wyoming public. Melanie can marry, just not in Wyoming - Melanie can be married but not recognized in Wyoming.
The gay community's agenda has become such a distaste in the public eye that, these "whining stories" only go to damage any relations they may develop with the heterosexual community. Melanie, hint of advice: keep quiet, no one will care if you and your "girl friend" secretly married.
Melanie, its just that no one else wants your agenda shoved down the throats of the rest of us. Example: it would be like myself, somehow, someway forcing you to have sex with a male instead of your girlfriend. You wouldn't want that, just as the masses of the heterosexual community wouldn't want your agenda pushed on us.

whatever
whatever

KK, the "gay community's agenda", whatever that is, is only distasteful to homophobes and bigots like you. Nobody is forcing anything on you. As far as "relations they may develop with the heterosexual community", you mean the hetero community that has ostracized, marginalized and discriminated against them for decades? Gee why would they want to do that? Can't tell you how much pleasure it gives me to see you squirm as gay marriage ultimately becomes mainstream. The ironic thing is KK that the discriminatory attitudes you display only serve to give more momentum to the cause for true equality. thanks for helping out

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn wat, yes I know and realize your "hetero-phobic understanding" but, gays do have agenda. Its called :"our way or the highway" as many politicians like "has been Simpson" have succumbed to.
There is nothing discriminatory about rejecting a lifestyle with a "long-standing-law" as Wyoming has had. Its only people like yourself that can not accept the true nature of the family and why same sex couples can never have what heterosexuals have.

True love that stems from a mother and father as a family unit without outside assistance what achieves that. Gays will use the "exception" of few females unable to conceive as the rule, is only a losing debate.
As the gay community obviously bats 100% on that, under the laws of nature, as even nature has been cluing many what is natural form what is not.

whatever
whatever

KK, "Its only people like yourself that can not accept the true nature of the family and why same sex couples can never have what heterosexuals have. True love that stems from a mother and father as a family unit without outside assistance what achieves that."

you mean like the 50% divorce rate of heterosexual couples in this country? what about those families and the kids displaced by those divorces? hate to break it to you KK but there are already lots of same-sex couples raising children in this country and doing a better job than many hetero couples.

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

There is EVERYTHING discriminatory about rejecting rights with a "long-standing law". Using your arguments, women would still be forbidden from voting, and we could still keep slaves. Both "long-standing laws" with biblical justifications. Were changes in those laws mistakes, as well? I dare you to answer, but know you'll just tap dance around the issue.

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn stupid, "please show me where to find the Bill of Right you are referring to"?

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn wat, your hetero-phobic comments are well understood.

Triple BB
Triple BB

I know I have some issues, but I'm glad I won't have to answer for this type of evil when my judgment day comes. Also, I've written my legislative reps to not support anything but marriage between a man and a women. What's next polygamy, bigamy, zoophilia?

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

You're right, you have some issues. Some pretty big issues. Hate being one, judgment being another, ridiculous over exaggeration being a third (I am sure I am only scratching eh surface). I mean, equating gay marriage to cross-species breeding is the most absurd and childish of arguments. You should be ashamed

Comment deleted.
Wilderness
Wilderness

Here's a plan. How about when that day comes, and you find you may have to answer to some deity (although, let's be honest, you have no idea if it's your deity or one of the thousands of others that have held sway over the years - some still as popular than your Christian God, including Allah, Tezcatlipoca, Zeus, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Shangdi, Janus, Odin, Ra, YHWH, Amun, Izanagi, Lugh, Legba, Hunab Ku, 'Oro, and oh, about 3,000 more...) then you be able to stand up (float up, transport up, whatever) and simply say I lived a good life, I treated people well, including those that were different than me, and I supported them in their choices and did my best by them, even when I found it difficult personally. Sounds kinda like something your man Jesus Christ might have done (and taught).

Because, frankly, you're failing that test at present.

Lander
Lander

The gay agenda that is being shoved down KK's throat?? Same-sex marriage is EVIL according to BB?? WHY, may I ask does it concern you that anyone wants the same rights afforded the rest of us? A couple of men or a couple of women wanting to get married does not affect my life or marriage in the least so why fight against something that will be law in this country soon. It is inevitable. Why not waste your time complaining about things like the dangers fracking or wife beating?

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn Lander, I always believed in Bill Clinton';s "don't ask - don't tell" policies. Problem is, the heterosexual community has kept that rule but, the homosexual community is telling everyone about their pleasures.
I guess what it amounts to is, don't demand to get rid of Wyoming';s law cause of the gay agenda. And yes, the gay lifestyle is a sickening/unnatural lifestyle but, so is bestiality.

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

KK, do you really feel that the gay community is telling you about their "pleasures"? I find that a very interesting and telling choice of a word from you. Pleasure. It makes me think you don't find it quite the "sickening/unnatural lifestyle" that you say.

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn stupid, "stupid does and stupid sees".

whatever
whatever

KK, what is sickening and unnatural is your desire to trample on the rights of your fellow citizens out of your own fear and ignorance. Do I need to remind you that the US Constitution, which you claim to respect, speaks directly to this discrimination?

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn wat, exactly where does that fit in disgusting lifestyles? But since you're attempting to distort law, lets go to the Constitution.
Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lets see - the Wyoming electorate spoke and declared it laws. Now the minority special interests are attempting to over throw the will of the majority. And by your standards, unless the majority yield to then minority? (State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law) as you claim.

Therefore by decreeing personal lifestyle, Wyoming's law becomes Unconstitutional?
CHAPTER 1 - HUSBAND AND WIFE
ARTICLE 1 - CREATION OF MARRIAGE
20-1-101. Marriage a civil contract.
Marriage is a civil contract between a male and a female person to which the consent of the parties capable of contracting is essential.

And you and the special interests call heterosexuals in disagreement to changing the law, homophobes for not yielding? Talk about hypocrisy.

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

KK, that ain't no denial, is it?

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn stupid, criminal minds hate our laws for placing them behind bars, is that denial for them as well? They would also want to change that too.

Pops
Pops

The Gay agenda is a question? Is freedom in America for all of us? Tomorrow is April Fool's
day. We are fooling ourselves if we think the human rights issues of Wyoming should remain in the social closet.

KT72013
KT72013

With gay marriage becoming more and more prevalent in Wyoming especially, I recently forced myself to consider the concept. I have always had a general opinion on the matter but never really took a logical approach. So I thought about it . . . . I realized that the idea of marriage between same sex partners does bother me. Yes, it makes me a bit uncomfortable. It is something that is foreign to me and I do not see on a daily basis in my personal life. However, as uncomfortable as it may be to me, who am I to say how someone should be happy? What is it - freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Who am I to say that a person can only be happy, or pursue happiness, so long as they are with someone of a different sex? If you want to base the "issue" from religion - well the law isn't supposed to be based on religious beliefs, especially since there are so many different beliefs. If you want to base this on science and the natural world - there are plenty of examples of homosexual behavior that are found naturally in the animal kingdom.

wyomingtex
wyomingtex

Come on people!!!! Take a look at every single comment on this topic. Every single one of you are saying something condescending to the other (or other side of thought). Not a single one of you have a point to prove if you are living your life true to yourself. NO ONE on the face of this earth is responsible for the ultimate judgement of any individual other than ourselves! Rather than judge or shove your belief(s) in the face of others, accept that it is, what it is, and it is perfect. None of us are ordinary. If we are impeccable with our word, we can change our world. With great expectations we can create possibility, inspiration, forgiveness, compassion, commitment, generosity, boldness, creativeness, integrity, courage, transformation, community, caring, love, no"you", fearlessness, mastery, joy, peace, vitality, and most important, we must be unreasonable at times. Just a thought for both sides of the coin, and those standing in the middle thinking they can't or don't have any influence.

KeithPullman
KeithPullman

There is no good reason to deny we must keep evolving until an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, monogamy, or polyamory is free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage (or any of those without the others) with any & all consenting adults, without prosecution, bullying, or discrimination. The limited same-gender freedom to marry is a great step, but it is not full marriage equality. Stand up for every adult's right to marry any consenting adult(s). Get on the right side of history!

IdrahaJe
IdrahaJe

Vigil said "I know I can?t always change minds,? she said. ?But I can change laws.? In effect, what that statement says is that regardless of how people feel, I can indoctrinate their children, and force them through a law to allow me to do so.

Please take a moment to look at the GLSEN and the things that are being pushed on children as young as 5. And once homosexual marriage is legal, they will have the right to talk about, display, and parade homosexuality through the classrooms. And as a parent, you'll not have any saw, after all, its legal.

How will you feel when your child, grandchild, or any relation arrives home and said that they were forced to allow someone of the opposite sex in their bathroom, or their locker room, let alone in the same shower?

If you have children, or want to have children, there are things that you must know, and understand. Take the time onlookers this, really look anyways at stake. The price is too high. Our children have enough barriers in school, without the GLSEN demanding and forcing new teaching methods on our teachers.

Triple BB
Triple BB

Agreed.

Not long ago at church our priest was discussing homosexuality. He made it quite clear to be a homosexual isn't a sin. However he stated, the act of homosexuality itself is a sin. I guess with the same sex crowd that makes him a hater and someone who's passing judgment.

All I know is I'm going to continue to support political candidates who support traditional family and religious beliefs...

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

Love the sinner, hate the sin? What a crock. A sham justification meant to make the hater, the bigot, the self-righteous feel good about themselves. Well, sir, pat yourself on the back.

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

TripleBB, it's still better than what you self-righteous, hypocritical, cherry-picking, hateful bigots have to offer.

IdrahaJe
IdrahaJe

whatever,

Please go look at the glsen's guide's for teachers. If you do not want my beliefs taught to your children, why am I not given the same right? Don't we have enough issues within education right now without forcing a lifestyle that many find objective on our countries young minds?

Not one of you have answered me. I keep hearing people say that the examples that I give are not commonplace. They will be if the homosexual community forces this to be the law of the land. I am a parent. I am a grandparent. If I object to something being taught to my grandkids, there will be nothing to protect their rights, my daughters rights, and my rights to teach them what is moral, and what is not. Do you know why those rights won't exist? Because the subject matter will be legal. THAT, is forcing a subject that many object to be taught to their children.

You mentioned once that there was already precedent. If this becomes law, precedence won't matter, and you know it. I am not in favor of anyone's children being forced to shower with the opposite sex, at any age.

The point being that folks keep saying that people should not be concerned about what 2 adults do in a bedroom. But the area of their behavior is much broader than that. You can say that those are extreme examples, but they are already being forced on Kindergarteners. I fail to see how forcing the youth of this country to be in situations that will make them uncomfortable is moral, just, or right.

I am not trying to be disrespectful, I am simply asking everyone to look at the bigger picture. To ignore that is a true injustice. And the people that will pay our this nations most innocent.

whatever
whatever

Idra, give me a break, there are several European countries and states in the US that have had gay marriage for years now and none of these things have come to pass. Your objections come across as feeble fear-mongering. I've got news for you Idar, kids don't learn morality in school. Homosexuals are not forcing anything to be the law of the land. The law of the land has been in their favor ever since the 14th amendment was written it has just taken it this long for the courts to recognize that.
You write as if the behavior of heterosexuals and religious institutions is beyond reproach which seems to ignore that heterosexuals have made a mockery of the institution of marriage and the Catholic church is the largest employer of pedophiles in the world. I am looking at the bigger picture and what I see is absolute hypocrisy on the part of heterosexuals

Pogo
Pogo

Well it is clear the attempt to impose same-sex "marriage" benefits on every state in the union that refuses to knuckle under and recognzie same-sex "marriage" is happening. The dictator dictates of course. Tyranny reigns in America. Our state constitution is under attack by this vocal minority. The steam roller (despite our current law(s) will most likely crush our constitution and evade traditional values and the lawful protection of marriage in general. Government will impose sexual immorality, as damaging as that is to those engaged in it. The very fiber of our society is under attack. This is an all-out assault on the rule of law not only in Wyoming but America. It used to be that no one was above the law. Those pursuiing deceptions and tyrannical policies of the Left must be confronted if, in fact our freedom, justice, famlies, and faith are to survive.

whatever
whatever

Pogo, I know it must hurt to be on the wrong side of history but please can the hysterical hyperbole. If you can't come up with a logical argument then by all means retreat to your bunker and await the end of the world by homosexual tyranny.

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn pogo, whatever is now trying to say he is a "crystal ball user" in his forecast that Sodom and Gomorrah will rise again. When that happens, flee from the corrupted cities they live in, as Sodom and Gomorrah were once nuked for their same sex lifestyles.

whatever
whatever

KK, yet another example of your lack of reading comprehension. Pogo is the one predicting the rise of Sodom and Gomorrah, I was making fun of her/him.
you know somebody is getting really desperate when they start invoking the old testament.

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn t wat, your reading comprehension fails you as usual these days. It is your words that suggests an invite back to the land of Sodomites. As in those days, we see the same these days, with your "words of blessing" for Sodomites, just as Pogo suggests ...

IdrahaJe
IdrahaJe

kt7,

Your argument is that since animals have done it, we should be allowed to do it. Correct? Okay, then we should also be allowed to kill and eat our children, steal without prosecution, and truly live in a world where the strongest survive, and the weak die and become food for others.

Oh, that's not what you meant? Then don't say it. That's why they are called animals.....

WhereisOT
WhereisOT

Always have hope....but in a State where many can't spell Vote, so they don't...Yet blame all their horrible troubles on the Black Man in the White House...
In a State where "real" americans still tell those sickening "jokes" bout Matthew Shepard..
A State that has so called "law enforcement" agencies threatening Colorada...."keep your pot in Colorado" online rantings and ravings while turning a blind eye on the meth epidemic and those richy rich coke users who keep the cocaine cartels in business...
Oddly these same "cops" are the ones who promised the arrest of Fed Agents when it comes to guns..
Haters of the EPA, haters of OHSA...haters of the evil Fed Gov and yet "communities" never miss a chance to take $ from the Feds under the Homeland Security banner...

You just never know though....Miracles do happen..

Big Horn County Democrat
Big Horn County Democrat

First, I would like to see one of these meetings up here in northern Wyoming. I noted Judy Shepard's comment, but still, limiting a campaign like this to Albany and Laramie counties IS, essentially, "preaching to the choir" and, to some extent wastes your time.

Extreme fringe thinking MUST be addressed. For example there is one elected official in my county who honestly thinks most, or all, gay people are child molesters. Otherwise I have great respect for this individual and try, very hard, to ignore this character flaw.

Any legislation must must have a provision which allows any clergyperson to "opt-out" of officiating at, or otherwise providing assistance in the formation of a same-gender union. It's my understanding that LDS and other religious groups think the legal recognition of same-gender unions will raise the spectre of a law suit if a clergyperson were to refuse to officiate at a same-gender union.

Beastiality is currently a felony offense in Wyoming and those who (with a straight face??) suggest that there will be marriages with a great dane, as the groom, need to be sat-down and, in one-syllable words, told that such a thing will never happen. For one thing, a County Clerk would be putting their job at risk by issuing a license for such a "marriage."

Finally, and most important: The United States is, officially, a secular nation. Congress (and the 50 states and territories) is forbidden to designate the LDS, or any other faith, as a "state religion." Legislators need to keep this in mind when voting on this subject. Those State Legislators who try to impose the will of their own religion on the people of Wyoming are not keeping faith with their oath of office.

IdrahaJe
IdrahaJe

whatever,

What has not come to pass? The 2 examples that I gave have already been implemented. Go to the GLSEN website, and look at the things that they want in elementary schools. Why does a elementary school teacher have to read a book to her students about a child with 2 dad's. or 2 moms? I am asking you, again, to go look at their website and look at the things that the State of MA has allowed them to give their input on.

In California, a student that is a boy, as young as kindergarten, can use the girls rest room if he identifies himself as a girl, even if If is anatomically male. A female of the same age can do the same thing by using the boys restrooms, locker rooms, and showers.

Your reply has me a little confused. Are you denying that the examples I have given are real?

The following example is from Canada. I have no reason to believe that this could never happen here. I am not that naive. A pastor in Canada booked a wedding that he thought was between a man and a woman. The moment that he realized that the wedding was between 2 homosexual men, he refunded the money he received, and told them that due to his deep religious and spiritual beliefs, he would not perform the wedding. The 2 homosexual men sued the pastor, and are now demanding that he attend glbt meetings, and sensitivity training.

There are people, such as your friends and allies, such as stupid, that will be very happy to hear that this pastor's religious freedoms have been taken from him, and they will be sure to try to repeat this ruling in our country. If you deny this threat to religious freedom, you are a fool.

Whatever, you might not, and your homosexual friends might not, but there are people in the glbt community that will No doubt follow the example of the homosexual men in Canada.

You keep telling me that my examples are not the norm, and are fear mongering. If that helps you sleep at night, so be it, but stop trying to convince us that everyone in the homosexual community has no desire to create great harm to our religious freedoms.

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn IdrahaJe, whatever is like any typical socialist, they live in denial because Obama now supports it.

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

"typical socialist"...like farm/ranch subsidies, petroleum subsidies, social security, medicare, meals-on-wheels, and insurance? You mean those socialists?

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

Wow, I was not aware that your entire religious identity hinged on gay marriage. I thought god had more on his plate, but I am apparently mistaken. He is a one-issue god. Never mind that homosexuality is only mentioned in the rather lengthy bible something like half a doze times. And, in none of those instances does it say that a woman cannot lie with woman as she lies with a man. Does that make lesbianism okay? Prove me wrong!

But, back to the point, a single issue. We all know that the bible says a lot of things about a lot of things: mixed fabrics, planting seed, slavery, marrying the guy who raped you, revenge, justifiable murder, etc. So why is this one, single issue so important? Why aren't you out seeing if people are wearing leather, or eating pork, or mixing linen with other fabrics. Aren't those heathens threatening your religious freedoms, as well?

I'll tell you why this is a single issue for you. Why this makes you hypocrites. For no other reason, it us because you find homosexuality icky. That's it. Icky. ICKY. Is that really a rational, adult justification?

WYO-BILL
WYO-BILL

IdrahaJe has it right.

From my perspective one of two things is going to come from this perverse and persistent thinking.

First, Jesus is going to come back and straighten this out once and for all, or second, the country will move towards anarchy because 'we' are not going to take it. Yes you can jam it down our throats through passage of immoral laws by immoral legislators but don't be surprised what comes back out.

So just keep pushing your perverse beliefs on us.

This country was founded on GOD by believers in GOD - read your money fools. So if you want to call me a hater because I love Jesus and the bible and his teachings go ahead. To ignore over 2,000 years of wisdom (keeping the genie in the bottle) is absolutely absurd.

Why do you think the pilgrims and others came here? To escape what?

Religious

P
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StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

How, exactly, does allowing gay marriage equate to religious persecution? You are not forced to act differently, to worship any different, or to do things against your religion. As a matter of fact, nobody wants you to do ANYTHING. You may conduct your religious practices as you see fit.

Does the existence of Jews, who don't believe that Jesus was a messiah, equate to religious persecution? Does atheism equate to religious persecution? Both disagree with your religious sensibilities, as does homosexuality. Do feel persecuted by all decisions that are not 100% in line with your religious views, or just homosexuality? If the former, that makes you paranoid. If the latter, you are a hypocrite.

Don't worry, I don't expect an answer. Like KK and LVH, when the tough questions are asked, when specifics are demanded, all we get is silence.

WYO-BILL
WYO-BILL

Persecution by Gays is coming when our pastors will be forced to marry gays (or be imprisoned or sued out of existence) and then the war is on. You may not be specifically of this persuasion, but there are many many more laying in heat ready to lawyer up when the time is right.

I don't need to repeat what IdrahaJe said - re-read it.

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Attn WYO-BILL, seems to me he label ID'ed himself "prophetically". Those kind are so lost that they argue aimlessly.

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

Good grief, you call THAT persecution? You must have led an incredibly sheltered life.

And KK, if making fun of my moniker is the best argument you've got, then I think I can claim victory. You, sir, are done.

Big Horn County Democrat
Big Horn County Democrat

Wyo-Bill: Your comments suggest that Wyoming Legislators are obligated to "clear" bills with one or more religions. By contrast the third President of the United States--Thomas Jefferson-- wrote: "...religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions..." See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state

The authors of the Bill of Rights were well aware of the persecutions committed in the name of Christianity--the burning of "witches" in 17th century Massachusetts, and the Spanish Inquisition of 15th century Spain, to name two. It should be noted that John-Paul II repudiated, and apologized for, the Spanish Inquisition.

The Wyoming Legislature is certainly within its right to provide protection to clergypeople, and to entire religions, against civil actions resulting from a refusal to have anything to do with a same gender marriage. However, a refusal by a state legislature to pass a bill enabling same gender marriage which is based on nothing more than religious beliefs takes us all back to 17th century Massachusetts. In an ideal world legislative debate on the subject of same gender marriage should be confined to the concept that (as far as the State is concerned) marriage is nothing more than an act wherein the State confers certain legal rights and obligations upon two people. Accordingly, within a legal context, said legal rights and obligations can be conferred upon a same gender couple just as easily as they are conferred upon a mixed gender couple.

IdrahaJe
IdrahaJe

I was reminded earlier today that not all that long ago, being a homosexual was seen as a mental illness. That was changed, and taken out of the DSM based on no, ZERO tests, studies, or anything else.

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

Which is probably exactly how it was added to the DSM.

IdrahaJe
IdrahaJe

stupid,

If you really think that the people on the Supreme Court won't allow homosexuals to sue to FORCE pastors, against their deep spiritual beliefs, to marry to homosexual people, you are a fool.

Citing Jefferson is akin to citing the quack from KS that just passed away. You've found 1 president out of dozens, Wow, I'm convinced.

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

That wasn't me

conservation know it all
conservation know it all

A logical reason for setting apart marriage between 1 man and 1 woman in the past was that governments may have desired to promote families that would likely have children, since married couples with children are usually more stable and usually more productive than singles or single parents. More production by a countries citizenship is good for the government coffers. Of course there are many cases where 1 man and 1 woman cannot conceive, however, the correct anatomy was at least there to create the possibility.

So why do homosexuals desire to get married to a person of the same sex? 3 common reasons I hear are lack of fairness, they love each other and they desire a similar tax situation as a married couple.

Homosexuals can marry in a church and call themselves married and love each other, this is not illegal, it is just not recognized by some states. Homosexuals can also get married to another person of the opposite sex and it will be legally recognized by the state. It seems to me that the homosexual lobby is fighting mainly for tax equality.

What if we just got rid of any kind of state sanctioned marriage and wiped away any tax advantage to being married?

Or what about going the other way, let a man marry his daughter or sister, or a woman marry her son or brother, or a woman marry 2 or more men or a man marry 2 or more women or 2 men marry 2 women? In other words, what is the point of having a definition?

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

First of all, there is no tax advantage to being married. It's actually a disadvantage. Nice try. As for doing away state-sanctioned marriage, that's the only kind of recognized marriage that exists. Church marriage may be a preference but, without state sanctioning, it's invalid.

As for your assertion that allowing gay marriage will lead to incest or polygamy, that same ridiculous and childish argument was used against interracial marriage. Did that lead to incest? Did that lead to polygamy? You don't actually know much at all. huh

conservation know it all
conservation know it all

If one spouse doesn't work, you can double the amount contributed to an IRA. Inheritance taxes could be a huge potential tax savings, the standard deduction is double. All advantages.

If state sanctioning was eliminated, then non state sanctioned marriage would be valild. If we got away from state sanctioning, then it would simplify the tax code and any tax disadvantages that you assert exist would be null.

Are you saying that if a brother loves a sister, they shouldn't get married, maybe they shouldn't have offspring, but that should be their choice. You must really hate them for their loving incestuous relationship..... or maybe you actually love them more by telling them a hard truth that what they are doing is wrong and there can be negative consequences.

Interracial marriage is a separate issue, you can't say you are black when you are white. I could say I am a lesbian and you can't know for sure. I could say I am black and you would immediately call B.S. if you saw me. Think about an interracial marriage leading to incest, kind of far-fetched, I mean really not much risk there.

The big difference in social acceptance between incest, polygamy and homosexuality is the strong homosexual lobby advocating for their cause. It's hard to imagine there would ever be a strong incest lobby any time soon, but it is certainly not hard to imagine a strong polygamous lobby rising up. Why would you judge a polygamist family differently than a homosexual couple or even a heterosexual couple?

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

Wrong again. Have you ever filled out taxes? A married couple only gets one head-of-household deduction, which is a big disadvantage. EVERYONE gets a standard deduction, whether married or not, so that issue is moot. Inheritance tax isn't necessary for anything below $5.5 million, hardly a threshold most people will see. None of those are benefits. Next year, do your own taxes. You'll learn something.

That leaves IRA contributions. So what you are telling me is that gay couples are getting married to maximize their retirement accounts, but only if one of them is unemployed? Is that what you are saying? Does that sound remotely rational? Really?

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

OMG, I forgot the best part. The part where you assert racial identity is strictly recognizable by how we look. What a complete racist thing to say. Do all blacks look alike to you? Do all American Indians look the same as each other? Do whites? Wow...you have issues, and they date from the 1950's.

So please tell us why interracial marriage won't lead to incest, but homosexual marriage will. Be specific and write slowly so us ignorant non-bigots can understand.

As for polygamy, I could care less about that. It's an entirely different issue without a single, rational cause/effect relationship to gay marriage.

conservation know it all
conservation know it all

StupidCitizen,

If one spouse doesn't work or has a significantly lower income, married filing jointly is an advantage. I typically itemize. $5.5 million is a higher threshold than I was thinking, but it sure could benefit a gay ranchero.

No need to ask the same question 3 times, and yea it's a possibility, even though it's not logical. All I said was it "seems to me" they are fighting for tax equality. To me there is nothing logical about changing the definition of a word and promoting a deviant lifestyle.

So enough with the taxes, I concede there is a definite possibility of a marriage penalty on taxes. I'd invite you to discuss the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th paragraphs of my 2nd post.

conservation know it all
conservation know it all

Stupid, sorry I didn't see your 2nd reply earlier.

I never said race identity is strictly recognizable by how we look, you have a tendency to jump to conclusions, I am certainly not a racist and it is pretty ridiculous to assert that the recognition of a black skin tone vs. a white skin tone makes a person a racist, all it means is I have eyes and I am not blind. You are the one with the superiority complex, and are clearly a racist against Chinese and Irish, your issues date back to the 1860's and the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

There is no logical reason interracial marriage could lead to incest, this is something you brought up. Homosexuality is deviant behavior, when it becomes justified and sanctioned by the state other deviant sexual behaviors will step up to be justified.

You are partially right about polygamy, homosexuality does have more in common with incest than it does with polygamy. Polygamy is a more natural behavior than homosexuality.

StupidCitizen
StupidCitizen

Yesterday I stopped at a gas station on the way out of town and went inside to purchase a refreshing beverage, a Diet Coke. The store only sold Pepsi. PEPSI. How can this be? It's a free country and I a right to drink any brand soda I want. I feel so...so...PERSECUTED.

Now I know how LVH and KK and Bill feel (except, unlike them, this issue actually affects me, personally). I mean, this store is forcing Diet Pepsi down my throat and ruining my love for other sodas. I know what this is and I know what they're doing. It's the Pepsi Agenda, and it's forcing us all to accept and to drink of it's sweet nectar. How can we, as a moral country, allow such strong-arm tactics with out soft drinks. Our founding fathers didn't intend for this when they wrote that "all men are created equal."

WyoJeff
WyoJeff

I see one one solution to this issue. Separate the Church and State and keep the Government out of the bedroom. By that I mean, make the government term "marriage" be replaced with "union." that way everyone can have a union in the eyes of Government. You can file your taxes as in a union filing jointly.
I would also reserve the term "marriage" for all church systems. If a church want to marry gays, good for them. If the church does not want to marry gays, good for them too. Hey, believe what you want! that is your right.

This way any couple could be in a union and may be married. but it would not force one group to do anything against their beliefs and gives everyone equal rights.

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