WY House defeats bill to establish domestic partnerships

Jan 30, 2013

The WY House of Representatives during the vote on the defeated domestic partnership bill.
Credit Bob Beck

After a passionate debate, the Wyoming House of Representatives defeated a bill that would have allowed adults to enter into a domestic partnership.  Supporters of the measure say that the legal agreement would have given all non-married couples a legal contract that would provide them with a range of legal tools to use in health care situations and in cases of a partner's death.  But others strongly opposed the measure.  Thermopolis Republican Nathan Winters says it’s clear what the bill is trying to do.

“The bill before you has been designed to seem a reasonable solution to the question of domestic partnerships for same sex couples.  But a further understanding of the bill will show that legislation such as this has been used repeatedly as gateway legislation leading to full marriage partnerships for same sex couples,” said Winters.

The measure failed 25 to 34.  But Jason Marsden of the Matthew Shepard foundation noted that a number of Republicans voted for the bill and added that sometimes it takes a few tries to get bills passed in the state.