THE EQUALITY STATE

New Wyoming Marriage-Equality Bill Gets Bipartisan Support

wyomingThis week Wyoming lawmakers introduced two bills that could give more rights to same-sex couples—one is a marriage-equality measure, the other a civil-union bill.

Democrat Cathy Connolly and Republican Keith Gingery are co-sponsoring both efforts, to improve the chances of at least one passing. “Legally speaking, I would prefer the gay-marriage bill,” Gingery, chairman of the judiciary committee, told The Jackson Hole News and Guide. “We already know how it works.”

Similar bills have become before the Legislature in the past, though none have succeeded. But recent wins in other states, and new faces in the Statehouse, could spell victory this time.

In some ways, marriage equality would be easier to manage: House Bill 169 would simply change the state’s definition of marriage from a contract between “a male and a female person” to between “two natural persons.”

House Bill 168, the civil-union bill, would necessitate the creation of a new legal status and framework in order for domestic partners to “obtain the rights, responsibilities, protections and legal benefits provided in Wyoming for immediate family members.”

Wyoming was first state to extend the right to vote to women, and its official motto is “Equal Rights.” Let’s hope there’s truth in advertising.

If you want to help bring marriage equality to the Equality State, consider donating or volunteering with Wyoming Equality or Freedom to Marry.