House committee approves bill that would allow civil unions for same-sex couples
A Wyoming legislative committee has approved a bill that would allow civil unions between same sex couples in the state on a 7 to 2 vote. The Committee voted down a bill that would have legalized gay marriage on a 5 to 4 vote.
The Civil Unions bill passed despite some strong opposition. Cheyenne Representative Lynn Hutchings urged the committee not to consider either bill a matter of civil rights. She testified that as an African American she is offended by such comparisons.
“Being black is innocuous, it’s very harmless,” Hutchings says. “Homosexual behavior has been shown to be harmful to body, mind, and spirit.”
Despite Hutchings’ opposition, the Civil Unions bill now heads to the House Floor. Bill sponsor Cathy Connolly, who is openly gay, calls it a significant event…
“I think it’s really meaningful for not only gay and lesbian citizens in the state, but their families, their friends, their communities,” Connolly says. “We saw that today.”
Connolly says things have changed in the state and she doubts such legislation would have gotten such support four years ago.