Two gay marriage bills before Wyoming Legislature

2014-02-12T22:00:00Z 2014-10-17T17:59:13Z Two gay marriage bills before Wyoming LegislatureBy LAURA HANCOCK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

CHEYENNE – Two bills before the Wyoming Legislature target gay marriage in very different ways.

House Bill 108, sponsored by Rep. Gerald Gay, R-Casper, prohibits the state from recognizing gay marriages performed in other states, while HB87, sponsored by Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, makes gay marriage legal in Wyoming.

Connolly’s bill substitutes the words “a male and a female” with “two natural persons.” If Connolly’s bill looks familiar, it is. Last year she introduced an identical bill.

Connolly also sponsored a civil unions bill last year. Since this year is a short session, she decided to go with the gay marriage bill, which was better received, she said.

This year’s bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Keith Gingery, R-Jackson; Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson; Mary Throne, D-Cheyenne; Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne; and Sen. Bernadine Craft, D-Rock Springs.

This year, the Wyoming House is defeating many bills that have nothing to do with the state’s budget. The session can last a maximum of only 20 days. But Connolly believes her bill still has a chance.

“I’m always hopeful,” she said. “I joke, ‘I’m a Democrat in the Wyoming Legislature. I’m the definition of optimism.’”

Gay said his bill would clarify how Wyoming courts are to proceed with divorces of partners whose same-sex marriages were performed outside the state or even outside the country.

The bill also prohibits the state from recognizing polygamous unions, he said. Although no states currently allow bigamy, some Middle Eastern countries allow it, he said.

“It locks up the courts,” he said.

That bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Kathy Davison, R-Kemmerer; Marti Halverson, R-Etna, and Allen Jaggi, R-Evanston.

HB108 doesn’t just affect divorce. It addresses parental rights of gay couples, inheritance rights and the rights to make medical and end-of-life decisions for a partner, said Jason Marsden, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which promotes gay rights.

“It won’t help anyone at all,” he said. “All it would do is damage one community.”

The foundation supports Connolly’s bill for gay marriage.

Miles Dahlby, lobbyist for the Casper-based Family Coalition, which supports traditional marriage, opposes both gay marriage bills.

“This is a budget session that should be just for budget issues, for the sake of the sanity of our citizen legislators, who have as much to do as in a general session but only half the time to do it in,” he said.

Reach state reporter Laura Hancock at 307-266-0581 or at laura.hancock@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter: @laurahancock.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(18) Comments

  1. whatever
    Report Abuse
    whatever - February 16, 2014 2:22 pm
    kk, not only are you not very bright, you're a liar as well. Point out where I ever said I was native american, including date time and the thread on which it was posted. If you refuse it will prove, yet again, that you fabricate things out of thin air.
  2. Kool Kat
    Report Abuse
    Kool Kat - February 16, 2014 2:12 pm
    Attn IdrahaJe, 'whatever" has just confessed he lied to me now.
    He claimed to be indian and now he's white? I'm guessing this guy is "white" when its convenient to be "white" and "indian" when its convenient to be "indian". Your typical confused socialist bigot that wants to hate anything that does not hate as he hates.

    Great job on the cross-examination, IdrahaJe
  3. Wyonative63
    Report Abuse
    Wyonative63 - February 16, 2014 1:42 pm
    Marriage Equality has nothing to do with being white, male, straight or Republican. In fact there are many of us who are white, male and Republican but who are gay and who are supportive of marriage equality. The rising generation of Republicans, Libertarians and Independents (of course Democrats too) are supportive of marriage equality. Millions of these supportive people (LGBT allies are white, male, straight and republican). The rising generation are a no-nonsense crowd who look at evidence as opposed to traditionalist fear-based rhetoric to make their decisions. They do not buy the argument that marriage equality will somehow harm religious freedoms. In fact they look at marriage equality as expanding religious freedom. They see marriage equality as a deeply conservative right of responsibility for same gender couples that actually provides stability and strength to society. They know their gay friends and they love and support them.
  4. whatever
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    whatever - February 16, 2014 5:16 am
    Idra, sorry but you will never convince me that white straight male christians are the victims in this country. I know because I'm one of them, well except for the Christian part.
    next you'll be telling me that there's a war on Christmas
  5. IdrahaJe
    Report Abuse
    IdrahaJe - February 15, 2014 9:21 pm
    See, whatever, that's exactly the attitude that keeps you from being able to see reality. You are constitutionally incapable of being honest. The white/male/ Christian/catholic/protestant///etc, etc, etc is the same sort of lies that you have repeated for so long that you can't see the truth. As expected, you refuse to acknowledge that people of faith, ANY faith, are being threatened by the likes of you every day. And whether you admit it or not, you've already proven I am right.

    I am not suggesting anything. I am telling you that because of YOUR hatred of people of faith, and your obvious hatred of "white straight Christians", the right to free speech is no longer available to people of any faith. Something they say, believe, or think might be such a hardship on you that you are unable to exhibit the same kind of tolerance for others that you are demanding for yourself.

    The right to free speech is no longer a right. In your hatred of people of faith, you have taken our rights from us. And if you deny that, then you are a liar.If you want to be a liar, be one, but don't do so under the guise of being some poor, picked on soul.
  6. 99Savage
    Report Abuse
    99Savage - February 13, 2014 5:12 pm
    Idrahaje, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty didn't really get suspended for his comments regarding the anatomical preferences of normal people versus homosexuals. When A&E network realized the enormous backlash they had created, they quickly backed off Phil never apologized, nor did anyone ask him to. Also recall the stink over Chick-fil-A advocating traditional marriage and how the liberals went crazy and tried to boycott them. Chick-fil-A suddenly had their best business ever and they are more popular now than ever, much to the consternation of the Sodomites. There is hope after all.
  7. DOS_prompt
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    DOS_prompt - February 13, 2014 4:43 pm
    Christian compassion at it finest...
  8. whatever
    Report Abuse
    whatever - February 13, 2014 4:37 pm
    Idrahaje, on the contrary, you're kidding right? you are seriously suggesting to me that it is white,straight, christians who are the victims of discrimination in this country. These cherry picked cases you cite really compare to the hundreds of thousands of gay people who have been discriminated against for decades? If you deny that then you are the fool. white, straight, male christians have been priveleged in this country for a long time. I don't feel sorry for them that its ending
  9. IdrahaJe
    Report Abuse
    IdrahaJe - February 13, 2014 4:08 pm

    You're kidding, right? Phil from Duck Dynasty was suspended from the show until people wrote to USA and complained.

    There are apps that have been canceled by Apple because they say that marriage is for one man, and one woman.

    Christian businesses are being sued because they refuse to do things such as wedding cakes for a homosexual marriage.

    Look up Christian Persecution. Look up what happened when Cisco and Bank of America cut Frank Turek for teaching them leadership classes. This one is the scariest, at times. Whose next? Turek taught leadership classes for Cisco and Bank of America. A gay man, that had ALWAYS given Turek a positive review after the leadership courses found Tureks Book one day. Next thing you know, Franks basically fired from both places.

    Answer the question asked "Why is it ok for pro gays to press their issues while it is not ok to disagree?" Because that's what has happened. If you deny all of this, then you arte a fool. Which person against gay marriage gets hurt next??
  10. whatever
    Report Abuse
    whatever - February 13, 2014 1:34 pm
    wyofirst, perhaps you could identify how you are being discriminated against?
    and maybe you would also like to take a stab at explaining how what other consenting adults do impacts you or your marriage?
  11. Triple BB
    Report Abuse
    Triple BB - February 13, 2014 1:09 pm
    I went by Gerald's house year before last to discuss some stuff relating to hunting. He started talking about some landowner issues and wanted to show me some stuff on his computer. When he turned it on, some hard core naughty stuff popped up. He was scrambling to close down the web page. I was just sitting there laughing under my breath. Apparently its ok to be an outspoken Christian who's against homosexuality, but watching raunchy garbage on the net is ok? I'm ready for a new House Representative. Gerald's a clown who's only out to represent himself. By the way, I don't support gay marriage either...
  12. Wyofirst
    Report Abuse
    Wyofirst - February 13, 2014 12:54 pm
    Quit bashing "religious morals" as a way to justify an unnatural act. Citizens have every right to promote and defend good things that come from a marriage between a man and a woman without pushing religion. My religion has nothing to do with my belief!
    Why is it ok for pro gays to press their issues while it is not ok to disagree?
  13. TimothyTwoToesLessRightFoot
    Report Abuse
    TimothyTwoToesLessRightFoot - February 13, 2014 11:40 am
    Namaste Everyone, We love the gay members of our family but we love our Creator Great Spirit more than ourselves, we honor his laws 0 same gender marriage or sex. This is a disorder a trial -test of sorts, abstain and enjoy other activities in this short life and then in the Spirit World paradise with Jesus our Saviour. Thank You Timothy Two Toes Less Right Foot.
  14. EdgarH
    Report Abuse
    EdgarH - February 13, 2014 11:35 am
    My guess is that Rep. Gerald Gay has a lot of lawyer friends to whome he owes favors. Why else would he suggest a bill ike the ones, from other states, that are being declared unConsitutional, other than to provide his lawyer buddies some income from the ensuing court cases? OF course, can you imagine the ribbing he's taken because of his name?!!
  15. Lander
    Report Abuse
    Lander - February 13, 2014 10:43 am
    Equality state, my foot. If you are white, male, straight and Republican maybe. Who cares if a gay couple wants equal rights. They aren't asking for special rights. You don't want the government telling you what to do. I don't think gay couples do either. Same sex marriage is inevitable. Get over it already and move on.
  16. Cody Coyote
    Report Abuse
    Cody Coyote - February 13, 2014 9:46 am
    I'm guessing from the looks of the pic that Mr. Gay is a big fan of Duck Dynasty.
    The contra-iteration of his surname is not lost on us here.

    Cowboy Joe is right. The choice is simple...Wyoming needs to honor its state motto of Equality in deed as well as word...not just lip service, but legislation to affirm equality for all, not some.

    Then again, we have always been a state where duplicity reigned in the statehouse. The territory of Wyoming only gave women the right to vote in order to qualify for statehood population quotas which were based on eligible voters. Thus " The Equality State" as a motto has always been a deceit. One that persists. It never ceases to befudde me that a state which does not want government in their lives or unnecessary rules and regulations will go out of its way to enact those rules and regulations to fragment and compartmentalize its own residents....to sponsor state-sanctioned discrimination ....to codify prejudice. Our leaders and Legislators do this time and time again, then try to claim we espouse more liberty and freedom around here than all the other states.

    We need a new state motto : Hypocrisy ¨uber alles.
  17. Cowboy Joe
    Report Abuse
    Cowboy Joe - February 13, 2014 6:28 am
    Not a ton to discuss-you either favor equality and equal protection for all OR you believe in legislating your religious morals on others, you don't believe in personal freedom, and you prefer government in ones bedroom
  18. Kool Kat
    Report Abuse
    Kool Kat - February 13, 2014 5:27 am
    Legislature should bounce this one out like all other "non budget" bills. Not enough time to hash out the discussions.
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