WPR News
9:04 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Wyoming Senate gives preliminary approval to bill banning same-sex unions

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The Wyoming Senate on Wednesday gave initial approval to a bill that would clarify that the only marriages that will be recognized in Wyoming are those between a man and a woman. The same would apply to civil unions.

Some expressed concern that preventing same-sex civil unions could create problems for gay couples in terms of access to the court system. But Senator Curt Meier of LaGrange argued that such concerns can be worked out. He says the intent of the bill is simple. "What we are looking at in this bill is the definition of what marriage is in this state and not letting another state define what this definition is," he said.

Senator Cale Case of Lander says he sees the bill as discriminatory. "When you go home after this vote you are going to look people in the eye," he said. "Your lawyers, your doctors, your friends, your neighbors and you are going to tell them you made them second class citizens with this vote today."

The bill passed 17-12 and will be debated two more times.