Equality under attack in the ‘Equality State’ on ‘Equality Day’

Paging Dick, Lynne and Mary Cheney.

The legislature in the Cheney’s home state of Wyoming is debating anti-gay legislation, House Bill 74, titled inappropriately, the “Validity of marriages” bill. It’s an ugly attempt to invalidate same-sex marriages in the “Equality State.” There’s a hearing today on the bill. In Wyoming, it’s not just MLK day, it’s also “Equality Day.” Hell of a way to celebrate equality, huh? You can’t make this stuff up.

From the Casper Star Tribune:

The House Education Committee is scheduled to consider a bill today sponsored by Rep. Owen Petersen, R-Lyman. It would specify that Wyoming courts don’t have jurisdiction over same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Both Anderson and House Speaker Ed Buchanan, R-Torrington, have said they believe the Legislature needs to address the issue of whether Wyoming will recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

One provision of Wyoming law already specifies that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman, but state law also says Wyoming will recognize marriages that are valid in other states. A handful of other states allow same-sex marriages.

Anderson and Buchanan say that a same-sex divorce case pending in the Wyoming Supreme Court shows the need for more clarity in state law.

I guess Wyoming will have to put up signs at all of its borders telling gay couples to stay away.

If you live in Wyoming, make sure you contact your legislator and the members of the House Education Committee (contact info. is here.)

I hope the Cheneys are making calls. What if Heather and Mary decide to relocate to Cheyenne or Jackson Hole?

This is another example of why DOMA has to go. Married gay Americans don’t have the same rights as their fellow citizens. We’re not equal, even in the so-called Equality State.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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