Wyoming lawmakers are expected to
consider a myriad of bills related to gay unions in the upcoming
session, the Billings Gazette reported.
One measure would allow gay and lesbian
couples to marry in the state, while another would recognized their
relationships with civil unions.
A third bill would define marriage as a
heterosexual union in the Wyoming Constitution.
Republicans Senator Curt Meier and
Representative Owen Peterson are co-sponsoring the measure that would
effectively ban gay marriage. Similar proposals in 2007 and 2009
failed, but anticipated support from a newly-elected Republican
majority in both sides of the Capitol has given ban supporters
Gay marriage is currently not legal in
Wyoming, but opponents worry that a legal challenge could overturn
the statute. A lawsuit challenging Wyoming's law was filed in
less than a month later, the couple voluntarily withdrew its legal
State Representative Cathy Connolly, a
Democrat from Laramie, is behind both pro-gay bills.
Connolly, the only openly gay member of
the Wyoming Legislature, said she would prefer legalizing gay
marriage over civil unions, but noted that gay marriage remains
“So many people find marriage to be a
special category for male and female couples only, and some people
are willing to support a civil unions bill,” she said.
joined New Jersey last month in legalizing civil unions. Gay
activists in Hawaii are hopeful lawmakers will approve a similar law