WPR News
7:14 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

State Senate to take up anti-gay union measure

Cheyenne, Wyo. – A bill that would say only marriages and civil unions between one man and one woman can be recognized in Wyoming may finally get a hearing on the Senate floor.

After delaying action on the bill, the State Senate may debate the measure as early as Wednesday. Senate Majority Floor leader Tony Ross says he fears the bill goes too far in barring recognition of civil unions between gay couples.

Ross says the Wyoming Constitution guarantees access to the courts, for issues ranging from probate to property disputes. And he says the Senate needs to make sure that the measure wouldn't interfere with that guarantee. "The question would be should there be an amendment to the bill to at least adjudicate or allow access to our courts so that those who may have a civil union from another state and not force them to go back to another state to have their rights adjudicated," he says.

Opponents of the bill had hoped Ross would not bring it up for debate, but he says he decided that is not the best approach. He says the Senate will "debate the bill and go from there."