I got my Matthew Shepard Foundation newsletter today and here, in its entirety, is the story they offer about the defeat of two anti-LGBT bills in the Wyoming legislature. While there isn’t a lot being passed that’s actively positive for LGBT (like relationship recognition or employment protections) at least Wyoming has staved off overtly negative legislation. I fear that North Carolina might not be able to rebuff such laws this year, but I try to remain positive.
Wyoming Legislature Defeats Two Anti- Gay Bills
Wyoming’s lawmakers concluded their General Session in early March with a still-unbroken record of defeating anti-gay bills which have surfaced continually for most of the last decade.
Lawmakers first dealt a procedural defeat in late February to an effort to amend the Equality State’s Constitution to prohibit recognition of same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.
Wyoming does not authorize same-sex marriage under state law, but a separate provision of the state’s legal code recognizes all marriages from other places that were valid where and when they were granted, and opponents of marriage equality have tried for years to close this provision where it would apply to same-sex couples from states such as Massachusetts, or countries like the Netherlands, which allow same-sex couples to wed.
A separate bill which would have changed the law to ban recognition of same-sex nuptials, without amending the Constitution, finally failed on a last-minute procedural vote on the second to the last day of the session. The Senate defeated a conference committee report on the bill by the very narrow margin of 14 in favor of the bill and 16 opposed. The Legislature does not meet again until February 2012 in a budget session where similar bills would have to win two-thirds initial support to be considered.
Hundreds of LGBT and Allied Wyoming citi- zens mounted a historic grassroots effort to defeat the bills, with support from Wyoming Equality, the state’s LGBT activist group, and the Equality State Policy Center, a progressive lobby, among other organizations. [Matthew Shepard Foundation] Executive Director Jason Marsden also traveled to Cheyenne twice to testify against the bill in House and Senate committees.