Wyoming legislation banning the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages was killed by the state’s Senate on Wednesday as lawmakers failed to approve changes to the bill that, as reported on earlier in the week, would remove all mention of how the state should handle civil unions performed in other jurisdictions.
From On Top Magazine:
Senators rejected the legislation with a narrow 16 to 14 vote, ending weeks of negotiations between the two chambers and a heated debate.
The bill won a narrow 31 to 28 victory in the House, earlier in the day.
Both chambers had previously approved differing versions of the bill.
Wednesday’s version stripped out a provision that would guarantee gay and lesbian couples in out-of-state civil unions access to Wyoming courts to get a divorce or for other disputes.
Wednesday’s vote was the latest defeat for social conservatives who had pinned their hopes on the Legislature’s recently-elected Republican majority.
Wyoming already has a statutory ban on gay marriage due to a law dating back to territorial days. It specifies marriages carried out within the state can only be between one man and one woman. However, the current law does not expressly prevent the state from recognizing same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.
Conservative Wyoming lawmakers have sort remedies to this perceived inconsistency. Yet, how the state deals with civil unions has been a key sticking point with some legislators wanting a ban on recognition of out-of-state civil unions and others saying that their must be court access for those in such partnerships who move to the state and then want their partnerships dissolved.
Last week, a constitutional amendment designed to bar recognition of all same-sex unions was also killed.
- Wyoming Panel Nixes Tackling Civil Unions in Anti-Gay Marriage Bill
- Wyoming Senate Advances Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Jeff Belmonte.