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Wyoming LGBT rights and marriage equality news


53% Support Marriage Equality in Wyoming

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

titleWyoming has now joined the ranks of states that approve of marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The new poll by the University of Wyoming found 53 percent of respondents supported marriage for same-sex couples, compared to 39 percent opposed. The poll results represent a significant increase over the last 10 years in support for marriage equality. In 2004, only 24 percent of Wyoming residents supported legalizing same-sex marriage. “This represents a notable shift in public opinion,” said Jim King, a University of Wyoming professor of political science and a co-director of the survey. “Two years ago, 55 percent of Wyomingites disapproved of same-sex marriage and 40 percent approved. We’ve seen a reversal in those numbers.”

Folks, that’s a 29% increase in just 10 years, with almost half of that coming since 2012. Amazing!

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Featured Lesbian Wedding Photographers: Swope’s Mountain Photography, Jackson, Wyoming

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Linda & Linda

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Gay Wedding Photography / Videography in Jackson, WY, USA. We are Team Linda – Linda Swope & Linda Marquis. Call our style “flattering photojournalism.” With 35 years of experience, we will capture the moment and make you look great. Known by thousands of couples across the country for good humor, enthusiasm, and professionalism, we approach your wedding with joy and pride. We draw our creativity from your love and happiness and the positive energy a wedding day brings.

See the Swope’s Mountain Photography Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Wyoming

Judy and Dennis Shepard on Marriage Equality in Wyoming

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Matthew Shepard

WE NEVER thought we’d see marriage equality come to Wyoming in our lifetime. But in a wave of judicial rulings allowing same-sex couples to marry across the country, this week a federal court ruling granted our neighbors the opportunity to make history at the altar. The lives and rights of LGBT people in the “Equality State” are rarely thought about without reflection on the 1998 hate-crime murder of our 21-year-old son Matthew. His abduction, beating, and death changed the way this country and the world responded to anti-gay hate, eventually leading to a federal hate-crime law that bears his name.

In Wyoming, there is much still to do. The state continues to allow employers to fire these newlyweds for their sexual orientation and gender identity, and the reality is that they — and their children — may face social rejection simply for being who they are. We are keenly aware of the progress left to be made, but today, we celebrate this incredible step forward.

Authored By Judy and Dennis Shepard – See the Full Story at the Boston Globe

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Wyoming Weddings Begin Today!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

WyomingThe State Attorney General has given the go-ahead for same sex couples to start marrying there as of today.

Reuters reports:

Gay marriages can begin in Wyoming on Tuesday after the state files a formal notice that it will not appeal a judge’s order overturning a ban on same-sex matrimony, the state’s attorney general said on Monday… “After reviewing the law and the judge’s decision that binding precedent requires recognition of same-sex marriage, I have concluded that further legal process will result in delay but not a different result,” Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael said in a statement. Michael said that the nuptials can begin immediately after the state files a formal notice with the court stating that it would not seek that appeal. The move will bring to 32 the number of states that allow gay marriage.

The LGBT community in the state that became infamous for the death of Matthew Shepard now has reason to celebrate.

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Wyoming Becomes the 32nd Marriage Equality State

Friday, October 17th, 2014

WyomingAnd another one – that’s three in one day as a judge in Wyoming strikes down the state’s marriage equality ban.

Think Progress reports:

Friday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl ruled that Wyoming’s statutory law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and unenforceable. This sets up Wyoming to be the 32nd state with marriage equality, but Skavdahl stayed his decision until next Thursday, allowing the state time to appeal. The decision largely defers to the Tenth Circuit’s precedent from the Utah and Oklahoma cases, but Skavdahl did offer a bit of his own commentary. Referring to Wyoming’s claims that an abrupt implementation of same-sex marriage would interrupt the work of state agencies, he wrote, “The fact is State Defendants failed to offer even a scintilla of evidence to support their assertion that a preliminary injunction would cause such administrative nightmares.”

The Governor has said he will not appeal the ruling.

Joe.My.God reports:

“This result is contrary to my personal beliefs and those of many others. As in all matters, I respect the role of the courts and the ruling of the Court. While this is not the result I and others would have hoped, I recognize people have different points of view and I hope all citizens agree, we are bound by the law.” – Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, in a statement announcing that he will not appeal today’s ruling. That notice will be delivered to the court “no later than Thursday, October 23, 2014, at 5:00 p.m.”

Thirty Two. A week and a half ago it was 19. Do I hear 33?

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Marriage Equality Updates: Wyoming

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

WyomingWe’re running down some of the updates in the aftermath of the shocking Supreme Court decision to turn down all the pending marriage equality cases.

And last but not least, Wyoming.

The state is the last of those indirectly affected by the Supreme Court’s decision to not take a case at this time. Governor Matt Mead is in deep denial.

SDGLN reports:

“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has no impact on the case before the Wyoming District Court.” The Republican governor is technically correct and may be playing a semantics game to please his red-meat followers, because SCOTUS did not rule on the Wyoming District Court case. But because Wyoming is part of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals jurisdiction, he is wrong is he thinks his state will not be impacted by today’s news. Mead is playing politics, of course, since he stands for re-election in a state that is home to Dick Cheney and clan. “The attorney general will continue to defend Wyoming’s constitution defining marriage between a man and a woman,” Mead told the Casper Star-Tribune.

A hearing in the state’s case is scheduled for December, but by then the Tenth Circuit will likely have made the whole thing moot.

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USA, Wyoming: Lawyers Come Out for Marriage Equality

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

WyomingA group of more than 50 prominent Wyoming attorneys have expressed support for marriage equality in the state.

LGBTQ nation reports:

More than 50 Wyoming lawyers, including a former state Attorney General, are expressing support for a group’s effort to change state law to allow same-sex couples to marry…. Wyoming Equality Chairman Jeran Artery said Wednesday that he hopes the lawyers’ support helps spark a statewide debate on the issue. “I think any time we can have a professional group of well-respected attorneys sign on and say ‘hey, now’s the time for the freedom to marry,’ I would hope it carries a lot of weight with public opinion,” Artery said.

Yes, that Wyoming. Things are changing rapidly in even the reddest of states…

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USA: Wyoming: Four Couples Sue for Marriage Equality

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

WyomingAnother day, another red-state lawsuit for marriage equality, this one in Wyoming, Matthew Shepard’s state.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The lawsuit argues that the state’s marriage laws violate the Wyoming Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. The plaintiffs include a university professor, a Major in the Army Reserve, a sheepherder, and an attorney, many of whom were born and raised in Wyoming. The couples are Cora Courage and Wyoma “Nonie” Proffit of Evanston, Carl Oleson and Rob Johnston of Casper, Anne Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson of Laramie, and Ivan Williams and Chuck Killion of Cheyenne. Wyoming Equality is the state’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.

Bringing marriage equality to the state would go a long way toward removing the dark stain on its reputation, earned when Matthew was brutally beaten to death for the crime of being gay.

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USA, Wyoming: House Rejects Marriage Equality Bill By More Than 2-1 Margin

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

WyomingWell, that was fast. The Wyoming GOP-controlled House shot down the proposed marriage equality bill in record time.

Towleroad.com reports:

Wyoming’s House of Representatives has voted 41-17 to reject a bill that would have given gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry, the Casper Star-Tribune reports: House Bill 87, sponsored by Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, would have changed the law that says marriage is a contract between a male and female to marriage being a contract between two natural persons.

Meanwhile, the House GOP is readying a different bill aimed to block recognition of same sex marriages performed elsewhere.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Meanwhile, a separate a bill is pending before the House that would specify that the state wouldn’t recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Current Wyoming law says both that marriage is a civil contract between a man and a woman but also that the state will recognize legal marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Casper Republican Rep. Gerald Gay is sponsoring the bill to specify that Wyoming would only recognize marriages between two people of different sex. The bill would require a two-thirds vote for introduction.

Lovely state, Wyoming.

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USA, Wyoming: Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in House

Monday, February 10th, 2014

WyomingA democratic lawmaker from Laramie, where Matthew Shepard was killed, has introduced a bill to legalize marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Democratic Rep. Cathy Connolly’s bill would rewrite the current definition of marriage as being a civil contract between a man and a woman. The bill would specify only that marriage is a civil contract between two people, without any mention of their sex. Connolly is a lesbian and has pushed gay rights legislation for years. The House last year defeated bills she supported that would have permitted same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships.

Wouldn’t it be something to see marriage equality come to the state that had been a symbol for homophobia?

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