A Wyoming gay couple is going it alone
in challenging the state's law that bans gay marriage, the AP
David Shupe-Roderick, 25, and Ryan W.
Dupree, 21, are challenging the state's ban after the Laramie County
Clerk's Office refused to issued them a marriage license.
The two men say they are representing
themselves because they cannot afford to hire an attorney.
“I kind of know some about the law,
and I know how to research things,” Shupe-Roderick told the Casper
Star Tribune. “If I have to do this on my own, I will, because
it's a cause I believe in.”
On August 13, the couple asked U.S.
District Judge Alan B. Johnson to end the restriction.
A spokesman for Governor Dave
Freudenthal, a Democrat, said Tuesday that the administration would
defend the law vigorously.
Unlike California's high-profile
Proposition 8 challenge, plaintiffs in Wyoming won't have two highly
regarded constitutional lawyers, Ted Olson and David Boies, to argue
their case or the benefit of a deep-pocketed Hollywood-backed group,
the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which was formed
specifically to support the lawsuit.
The social conservative group WyWatch
Family Action, which supports putting a constitutional amendment
banning gay marriage in the Wyoming Constitution, decried the
“We just don't believe that a federal
judge should be determining the definition of marriage,” the
group's Becky Vandeberghe said.
A 2008 WyWatch Family Action
commissioned poll of 509 registered voters found a large majority
(74%) of respondents support a constitutional amendment banning gay
marriage. However, the poll relied heavily on the opinions of
registered Republicans, who, on average, are more likely to oppose
marriage equality. According to a New York Times poll, 63
percent of Wyomingites oppose gay marriage.