State Senators in Wyoming approved a
bill on Thursday that seeks to outlaw the recognition of out-of-state
gay marriages, the AP reported.
The 20-10 vote fell mostly along party
lines in the Republican-controlled chamber.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Curt
Meier, would ask voters to amend the Wyoming Constitution to specify
that the state wouldn't recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian
Wyoming bans gay couples from marrying
but state law also recognizes any valid marriage performed outside
its borders. Social conservatives worry that a legal challenge could
use the loophole to legalize gay marriage.
Earlier in the week, a similar bill won
approval in the House.
During an initial vote on the House
measure, State Representative Frank Peasley, a Republican, argued
that the law was needed to reduce government intrusion.
“I think all this is, is an outpost
in culture that says, 'Listen, I feel like you're destroying
everything else that I have,'” Peasley told lawmakers on the House
floor. “You've got involved in the raising of my children, the way
I discipline them, the way I feed them, whether or not I can smoke in
the car, whether or not I have them properly equipped; you've just
gotten into my life so much, let's just let me define the
relationship I'm in, OK?”
Republican Governor Matt Mead said
Thursday that he does not favor gay marriage, but added that he has
reservations about such laws.
“But I also believe that we have to
be very careful and pragmatic about how we approach this,” Mead
said. “And the reason is that we do not want to, as a state, limit
access to our court system.”
Lawmakers are also expected to debate a
bill that would place a gay marriage ban in the Wyoming Constitution.