Wyoming Senate passes anti-gay marriage bill

2011-02-18T11:27:00Z Wyoming Senate passes anti-gay marriage billBy JEREMY PELZER Star-Tribune capital bureau Casper Star-Tribune Online

CHEYENNE-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.

Because of the amendment, the bill will now head back to the House to approve the changes. The House passed the legislation late last month 32-27.

Supporters of the bill, House Bill 74, said the legislation is needed to resolve a conflict in Wyoming law, which defines marriage as a contract "between a male and a female person" but also recognizes any valid marriage performed outside the state.

Opponents held that the bill is unneeded, unconstitutional, and discriminatory against gay and lesbian couples.

After the final vote, a few dozen people held prayer circles outside the Senate chambers in thanks for the bill's passage.



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