Four gay and lesbian couples on
Wednesday filed a lawsuit in state court in Cheyenne challenging
Wyoming's laws prohibiting gay couples from marrying.
The lawsuit challenges Wyoming's
statute barring such unions and the state's refusal to recognize the
out-of-state legal marriages of gay couples, arguing that Wyoming's
marriage laws violate the Wyoming Constitution's guarantee of equal
protection and due process.
Plaintiff couples are Cora Courage and
Wyoma “Nonie” Proffit of Evanston, Carl Oleson and Rob Johnston
of Casper, Anne Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson of Laramie, and Ivan
Williams and Chuck Killion of Cheyenne.
Wyoming Equality, the state's largest
LGBT rights advocate, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the four
couples, who are represented by attorney Tracy Zubrod, the law firm
of Arnold & Porter LLP, the law firm of Rathod Mohamedbahi LLC,
and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
“The law should support stable
families, not make it harder for committed couples to support one
another and protect their children,” Shannon Minter, legal director
for NCLR, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “Barring
same-sex couples from marriage causes great harm to these families
and their children while helping no one.”