A Wyoming House committee on Monday will hold a hearing on a bill which seeks to legalize gay marriage in the state.

House Bill 0169 is sponsored by Rep. Cathy Connolly, a Democrat from Albany County.

The measure will be heard in the 9-member House Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee, which meets at noon.

A second bill, also sponsored by Connolly, seeks to recognize gay couples with domestic partnerships. The committee will review both bills on Monday.

While several Republicans, including Representatives Keith Gingery and Ruth Ann Petroff, have endorsed marriage equality, the measures appear to face an uphill battle getting out of the Republican-controlled committee. Rep. James Byrd, the committee's lone Democrat, is a co-sponsor of both bills.

Connolly has introduced similar bills during four previous sessions, in 2007, 2009 and 2011, with little success.

Gingery, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, where the bills have previously been heard, for the first time backed the marriage bill this year.

“We need to separate the religious issue from the civil function of society,” said Gingery, a Catholic. “Legally speaking, I would prefer the gay marriage bill. We already know how it works.”