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Wyoming House defeats bills on both sides of same-sex marriage issue

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Updated: 9:00 p.m. MST

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Wyoming House on Thursday defeated bills on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue.

WyomingThe House first defeated a bill that would have changed state law to allow same-sex marriages. Later, it defeated another bill that would have specified that that Wyoming wouldn’t recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, sponsored the bill to permit same-sex marriages. The bill would have removed the state’s current legal specification that marriage is a civil contract between a man and a woman.

Connolly, a lesbian and a professor at the University of Wyoming, said that the federal government now recognizes all marriages, whether they’re between people of different sexes or the same sex.

Connolly said there are thousands of people in Wyoming who are in same-sex relationships and are raising children.

“I don’t want to leave Wyoming to get married,” Connolly said. “Wyoming is my c hosen home. I’ve lived here for over two decades. It’s where I’ve spent my entire professional career. It’s where I’ve raised my son. It’s the state I love and serve.”

Rep. Mark Baker, R-Rock Springs, spoke against the bill. He said the Legislature shouldn’t try to impose such a massive social change on the state. Connolly should ask Wyoming voters to change the state constitution if she wants to, he said.

The state later Thursday voted down a bill sponsored by Casper Republican Rep. Gerald Gay that would have specified that Wyoming wouldn’t recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Cheyenne Rep. Dan Zwonitzer spoke against the bill, saying the “Equality State” shouldn’t take a step backward.

The House voted against introducing the bill by a vote of 31-to-29.

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106 more reader comments:

  1. Blasted hell!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:48pm
  2. Fucking assholes!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:48pm
  3. hmmmmm……it’s Wyoming we’re talking about folks!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:48pm
  4. Wyoming still exists? lol

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:49pm
  5. Did it or didnt it pass

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:49pm
  6. The bill was defeated.

    Replied on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:51pm
  7. Booo. Guess the cowboys will have to continue mating with cows.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:49pm
  8. The fight has just begun, and is far from over. Equality will win, just as it did in the days of racial segregation.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:50pm
  9. I’m not shocked. Remember Laramie…

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:50pm
  10. Isn’t Wyoming supposed to be the Equality State?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:51pm
  11. Resistance is futile….

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:52pm
  12. Shame on you!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:52pm
  13. political asshats…political asshats everywhere…

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:53pm
  14. keep plugging away.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:53pm
  15. GO FOR IT.. SPREAD LOVE AND EQUALITY…

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:54pm
  16. Too bad…try again soon

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:54pm
  17. Well I don’t see why a state which has so low of a population would do such a thing. Maybe they hope other “straight” people will move to their state. I’ve been through the state plenty of times. I am surprised they did not legalize same-sex marriage here.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:56pm
  18. Too bad. I guess Wyoming will continue living in backwardness.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:56pm
  19. That’s so ungay. :(

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:57pm
  20. dicks. where the hell is Wyoming anyway

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:57pm
  21. It's where Dick Cheney is from.

    Replied on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:16pm
  22. Give it time… We are taking the weak ones out, then the higher ups will have no choice in time.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:57pm
  23. When will they be ready?!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:58pm
  24. We my have lost one battle, but war isn’t over. We just keep fighting until we have equality everywhere

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:59pm
  25. Sad

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:59pm
  26. Then, they will have equality in the Equality State the hard way; indeed the expensive, embarrassing and humiliating way and I hope it stings for them; I hope it hurts like hell. They deserve it.

    Happily, ‘from Wyoming.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:01pm
  27. Take it to the courts!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:04pm
  28. Sad that it didn’t pass!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:04pm
  29. Thank you friends! Love the energy in this thread. We had a win in Atlantic Beach Florida 4-1!!! 80% support LGBT equality!! Please share, celebrate good news together. Changes now. Lucky

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:05pm
  30. Another hater state

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:09pm
  31. Well Laramie is in Wyoming, so not surprised at all.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:10pm
  32. Boo!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:10pm
  33. I just wanna point out that the man pushing for a bill that will ignore same-sex marriage in other states…has a last name of Gay. Js.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:12pm
  34. Sad

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:14pm
  35. It’s just a matter of time before this is moot. Within the next few years the Supreme Court is going to legalize it nationwide.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:15pm
  36. Well, this is where Dick Cheney is from, so is anyone really surprised?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:16pm
  37. Dick Cheney supports marriage equality.

    Replied on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:24pm
  38. they’re still butt hurt that Brokeback Mountain was the state it was set in.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:17pm
  39. Shame on them

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:17pm
  40. figures, this is where that poor kid got tied up to a fence and was beaten to death many years ago. :-(

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:18pm
  41. Why of course they did!! Such good little religious lemmings…no ability to think aside from some religious garbage, no ability for critical thinking, no self direction, no autonomy, no true personal independence. The SCOTUS will set this all “GAY”.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:18pm
  42. Why Wyoming? Who would go there? Why don’t people leave from there?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:20pm
  43. ugh./……

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:20pm
  44. I’ve been working on this bill with Representative Connolly for several years now, and I would just like to say that because this is a 20 day budget session, hardly any social bills will be passed, no matter which side of the aisle they come from. We’ve been working hard here in the Cowboy State, and I would appreciate it if we could get some support for the folks hard at work on this piece of legislation, instead of the “not surprising” comments I’ve been reading. As an LGBTQ community (with amazing allies), we should be supporting each other and encouraging one another. Also, YES this is where Matthew Shepard was murdered, but this shouldn’t be how Laramie and Wyoming are remembered. Wyomingites are friendly, hardworking, and welcoming people. And as an LGBT Wyomingite, I don’t appreciate us being labeled the hate state when I (along with many, many of my colleagues on BOTH sides of the aisle) have been working hard for our LGBT community.

    And yes, Wyoming exists. Get a map.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:20pm
  45. Melanie Vigil…. Keep up the good fight. You are supported… This is a state by state battle and at the end we will prevail.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:25pm
  46. Dammit, Wyoming! Don’t disappoint me like this!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:28pm
  47. I can’t believe that, in this day and age, this is still an issue.

    There is no such thing as straight marriage and same-sex marriage; there is just marriage!!

    We are all human, we all have the right to be with whomever we choose. There is nothing more to it.

    There won’t be true equality until we realize that.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:29pm
  48. lose the hate WY

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:32pm
  49. How shocked are we by this?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:34pm
  50. It’s not illegal unless there’s a law against it, no?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:44pm
  51. That too will end – its only a matter of time and one lone court battle!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:44pm
  52. Melanie Vigil, I appreciate you coming here to set the record straight about the great effort to effect change in Wyoming. However, you lack of decorum and snarky jabs belie your nature. Educate without throwing blows. Good luck to you.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:47pm
  53. The Supremes will be the final arbiter ! Man, will That state ever look foolish!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:52pm
  54. Soon. Very soon.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:53pm
  55. Aww

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:54pm
  56. Sad.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:18pm
  57. I see a lawsuit in their future.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:19pm
  58. Do they even have a population of like 10K?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:23pm
  59. David Hliva that poor kid had a name it is Matthew Shepard and that bill was passed that made beating up a gay person a crime

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:26pm
  60. shit

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:40pm
  61. Equality for all

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:43pm
  62. Glator national park is a good place to get marriage

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:44pm
  63. You can’t allow one group of people the right to do something then Dennie another group of people that same right it’s simply unfair unjust and won’t stand

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:44pm
  64. DAMN!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:45pm
  65. Have those Legislator’s got their Heads up Somebody Else’s Ass???

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:49pm
  66. But having sex with farm animals is OK…

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 10:54pm
  67. Sad – have they forgotten the young man who was beat and killed then hung on a fence post to die??? Shame on the Wyoming House.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:49pm
  68. neanderthals

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:51pm
  69. Wtf…

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:55pm
  70. Wyoming is stuck back in the stone age, I’m sorry but everyone should be allowed to get married I’m ashamed to say I live in Wyoming

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:58pm
  71. What do you expect from Cheney country.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:47am
  72. Let’s hope Obama gets to appoint some new Supreme Court justices (most of whom are currently Catholic) before his term in office ends. That’s where this is going for the 34 states currently violating the US Constitution’s guarantee of equality.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:53am
  73. Wyoming. Where men are men and the sheep are scared.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 1:06am
  74. Good at killing people that are different

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 1:55am
  75. Mark Wyoming House down as the New Jim Crow legislators!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:03am
  76. “Now, off to our fishing trip!”

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:09am
  77. Not surprised… But I did hear that there was more republicans who voted in favor then there were democrats. That’s something to think about.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:26am
  78. I proudly live in Wyoming. I LOVE living here, hell I was born here. Having grown up in Alaska most of my life, I truly appreciate the low population and the scenic majestic views. I am not sure who the hell you people think you are being rude about Wyoming. Some of the nicest people in the world. I think you need to take all of those negative, fucked up, backhanded comments and super impose them on YOURSELVES haters. BOOM bitch! Keep telling yourself that you love living in New York, rats in a cage yo!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:27am
  79. “Casper Republican Rep. Gerald Gay is sponsoring the bill to specify that Wyoming would only recognize marriages between two people of different sex. The bill would require a two-thirds vote for introduction.

    Gay says he doesn’t regard see the bill as opposing same-sex marriage but says the Legislature should clarify the issue.”

    And that, people, is irony.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:49am
  80. Again no separation of church and state anymore

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:00am
  81. Nothing like winning a losing battle.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:24am
  82. what BS…

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:36am
  83. They’ll all eventually follow the trend of legalizing gay marriage

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:37am
  84. well this comes as no suprise

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:46am
  85. Who wants to live there anyway?

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:48am
  86. What is it with state house of reps being so freiking stupid lately?

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 5:10am
  87. Yes it still there full of rednecks I worked at Yellowstone Park for two summers.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 5:50am
  88. been through wyoming. it’s even worse than kansas. nothing there but long stretches of highway. oh, and tumbleweed.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 6:56am
  89. Wyoming does indeed love Big Government in their bedrooms. Boo.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 7:20am
  90. backward people back to broke back mountain

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 9:38am
  91. Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 9:58am
  92. No worries, time has created and is creating massive change. Tick, tock.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:21pm
  93. The Equality state seems to hate Equality…

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:22pm
  94. Way to embrace reason Wyoming. Hurry and be first to be last.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:27pm
  95. Big daddy in the Bedroom ! How grown up of you ! Time to progress into 2014 , where we are not governed by a single religion, but respect secular society and each other !

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:39pm
  96. :( Wyoming oh Wyoming. : ( I love you and so many amazing people live there. Unfortunately this decision just shows how you still need to change things. Growing up in Wyoming and experiencing the pain that was felt in 98 with everything surrounding the Matthew Shepard tragedy made me realize (even as a 12yr old) how much needed to change. Its kind of sad to see that in almost 16years there hasn’t been enough change. :’( As a state your majestic beauty lives in my heart, as well as so many of your people, but when asked if I will ever move back….its still a no, Not yet.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:46pm
  97. KEEP OUT OF WYOMING: they have not evolved into Human Beings…sadly, they do not understand Human Rights, Dignity and Freedom…KEEP OUT OF WYOMING…KEEP OUT OF WYOMING…

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:51pm
  98. On the wrong side of history.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:02pm
  99. Fuck you chuck!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:14pm
  100. So sad

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:16pm
  101. In time they will see whats right!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:18pm
  102. it’s almost like they said “Fuck you and fuck you too. Have a nice day.”

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:51pm
  103. Off topic … I love the flag.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:02pm
  104. Rep. Gerald… Gay sponsored the anti-equality bill.
    Gerald Gay. He’s the one that sponsored an anti-equality bill.
    His name is literally Gay.
    The irony (okay, maybe not irony) is staggering.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:21pm
  105. ^^ my thoughts exactly

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:34pm