CHEYENNE, Wyo. — In the final minutes of the day, a Wyoming House committee voted 4-2 on Tuesday to approve a bill which would invalidate same-sex marriages performed out-of-state.
The bill has until Thursday — when the legislative session ends — to pass both the House and the Senate.
In order to pass the bill this year, rather than waiting until the next legislative session, Republicans conceded to remove the “civil unions” language from the bill altogether. So apparently out-of-state civil unions will still be valid in — ironically — the “Equality State.”
The House’s version of the bill stated that same-sex marriages and civil unions aren’t entitled to any obligations, benefits or protections under Wyoming law; the Senate added a clause guaranteeing people in a legal out-of-state civil union would have access to Wyoming courts.
But with the Legislature set to adjourn for the year on Thursday, the conference committee took out all language dealing with civil unions and court access.
While Democrats are opposed to the bill, they may not have enough votes to stop the bill from passing.
Supporters of the legislation, House Bill 74, said it’s 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.