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