Got an email from our reader, Kristian, who has been keeping us updated on the anti-gay legislation in his home state of Wyoming. The anti-marriage bills, which looked like they were on the fast track, both died, fortunately:
Thought I would let you know how things have ended up in Wyoming this legislative session.
The Senate bill (SJ5) that would have amended the Wyoming constitution to address marriage as only between a man and woman died last Friday when it failed to be presented for a final reading in the House. This was because after passing the first two readings the bill suddenly lost support as citizen voices peaked against it. The other bill, HB74, the Validity of Marriage bill, which would have changed the Wyoming statutes to not recognize any marriages, even if legal elsewhere, that were not between a man and woman failed Wednesday in the Senate as the two bodies were trying to agree to a concurrence and compromise written up by a conference committee of the Senate and House, the Senate failed to concur by a vote of 14-16.
Wyoming Equality and GetEqual WY as well as many other grassroots organizers and legislators from both parties did a fantastic job pushing back against these two bills and in the end eliminating them.
The troubling part is that this is the farthest these bills have ever gotten, basically a few feet from the finish line and groups such as WyWatch, a Wyoming copy of Focus on the Family, have vowed to focus on knocking off a few seats to change the legislature to their favor.
Representative Cathy Connolly’s three pieces of good legislation; a civil unions bill, a marriage equality bill, and a bill that addressed discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender all failed to advance anywhere, sadly.
At this point while it is a victory for sure to have defeated two ugly pieces of legislation, it is a stalemate in the larger game. Eyes are on 2012 for the state races that will either hold the balance or tip it to someone’s favor – who’s is still up for grabs.