Wyoming House defeats domestic partnership legislation

2013-01-30T19:15:00Z 2013-11-02T11:59:07Z Wyoming House defeats domestic partnership legislationBy LAURA HANCOCK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

CHEYENNE — The state House defeated a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would create domestic partnerships in Wyoming.

The vote showed a divided House: 25 voted in favor of House Bill 168, 34 voted against it.

HB 168 is one of three bills this session considering gay rights. On Tuesday, a House committee defeated a bill that would have created full same-sex marriage in Wyoming statute. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee advanced an anti-discrimination bill on Wednesday.

While two bills were voted down this year, this was the first General Session since 1995 without a bill attempting to not recognize same-sex marriage, said Jason Marsden, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation in Denver, who watched Wednesday’s vote.

That signals there are legislators on the fence, he said.

“It tells me the middle of the Legislature is in the middle of the debate,” he said.

One of the HB168’s sponsors, Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson, argued the bill would still mean Wyomingites are against same-sex marriage. But HB168 offers all types of couples, including seniors who are living together unmarried because they need separate Social Security benefits, rights that spouses receive, such as inheriting property, communicating for their partner in a medical crisis and the ability to make funeral arrangements.

And for same-sex couples who benefit from the bill, “this is not a justification,” she said. “It’s not a santification. There’s no ceremony. There’s no officiant.”

Another sponsor, Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, encouraged people to not “cherry pick a few things out of the Old Testament and maintain a right to deny someone else the opportunity for love in all of its facets. The main tenant of Jesus was to love your neighbor as yourself.”

Wallis described other activities in the Bible that are wrong or abominations, including cutting hair on the sides of the head and clipping edges of a beard.

But legislators who spoke against the bill described it as an attempt to recognize same-sex marriage.

“We would be defining a new second-tier marriage with this bill,” Rep. Nathan Winters, R-Thermopolis, said. “This bill would then become a down payment on future lawsuits leading to full same-sex marriage.”

Rep. Mark Baker, R-Rock Springs, said he has gay family members. That doesn’t mean he supports HB168.

“Most of you aren’t aware that my half-sister is a lesbian, and she’s been involved in multiple same sex-marriages,” he said.

Baker cited statistics from unnamed sources claiming that few gay men and women live into their senior years.

“This is pushed on us to be politically correct, ‘Let’s be the equality state,’” Baker said. “The fact of the matter is there are disastrous consequences to this bill.”

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

(10) Comments

  1. Smokeysdad
    Report Abuse
    Smokeysdad - February 12, 2013 3:05 pm
    What part of 'with liberty and justice for all' is unclear?
  2. Completely Fed Up
    Report Abuse
    Completely Fed Up - February 01, 2013 9:56 am
    That's the point. Wyoming remains stalled in the 19th Century. The 21st isn't even an issue at this time.
  3. Marnie
    Report Abuse
    Marnie - January 31, 2013 4:00 pm
    If you don't want to be thought uneducated, quit calling it a "choice".
  4. Marnie
    Report Abuse
    Marnie - January 31, 2013 3:57 pm
    For what it's worth, I am not against same sex marriage and I don't actually know anyone who is. This bill however simply gave people some equal rights. -Our Legislators who voted against this should be ashamed of themselves.
  5. Wyofirst
    Report Abuse
    Wyofirst - January 31, 2013 12:49 pm
    Comments so far continue the idea that if you don't support an extreme choice lifestyle, that you are uneducated. I beg to differ. I support my representatives vote no on this bill because I believe, as do the majority in Wyoming, that gay relationships are not similar to heterosexual marriages and thus do not deserve the same definition and benefits. Stop demonizing a natural belief.
  6. Panhead
    Report Abuse
    Panhead - January 31, 2013 11:57 am
    Just a little FYI, as of January 1st at 12:01AM 2000 it became the 21st century.
  7. Completely Fed Up
    Report Abuse
    Completely Fed Up - January 31, 2013 9:18 am
    Well, the morons who pretend to represent us are clearly determined to prevent the state from entering the 20th Century. Sadly, the morons who vote for them feel the same. People get exactly the government they deserve.
  8. Barry G Wick
    Report Abuse
    Barry G Wick - January 30, 2013 10:56 pm
    Yeah, not surprise here. Horses and antelope have more rights in Wyoming than LGBTQI people.
  9. dze92
    Report Abuse
    dze92 - January 30, 2013 9:21 pm
    Time for the next bill:
    "Removing the slogan The Equality state" I am disappointed with our legislatures who dont seem to understand the whole concept of separation of church and state. Just when I was starting to get some sort of hope for our state and our legislature. Wont be surprised if the bill extending hate crimes fails too. It is a sad day for Wyoming.
  10. wyo-first Amendment victim-gun rights
    Report Abuse
    wyo-first Amendment victim-gun rights - January 30, 2013 8:34 pm
    Wyoming is simply fascist, basing its economy and politics on the "needs" of special interests... and the white elite that primarily benefits from the 19th Century wealth of coal, oil and gas. The fiction of "Equality State" is nonsense. There was an inter-racial marriage Jim Crow prohibition in Wyoming law until the 1970's. Wyoming morons hate UW because "it teaches values that are not Wyoming" (uneducated morons don't know that "university" and "Universe" are similar). Likewise the fascist elite of Wyoming promotes uneducated jobs, zero growth ("Don't want to be like them Greenies") and uses the political mukhabarat of DCI (the Governor's political death squads) to surveil and threaten citizens in their home for opposing the NRA and other special interests that maintain the status quo of the political elite. With the state wrapped up in this fascism, allowing "Equality State" rights to gays is out of the question. What could be next...liberals!
Untitled Document

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps...

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

  5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at editors@trib.com, or call Editor Jason Adrians at 266-0545 or Content Director David Mayberry at 266-0633. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

  6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

  7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

  8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick