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Fri February 18, 2011
Senate passes bill that only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman.
By Kathryn Flagg
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Senate on Friday narrowly passed a bill that reaffirms that the state will only recognize marriages between a man and a woman. The bill passed with an amendment that guarantees that same-sex partners with civil unions from other states will have access to Wyoming courts to dispute domestic or other legal grievances. Proponents of the bill said the legislation clarifies existing state law by explicitly stating that Wyoming will not recognize same-sex partnerships formed in other states. But opponents like Laramie Democrat Chris Rothfuss called the legislation discriminatory, and argued that the bill could cause legal headaches for gay couples visit or move to Wyoming.
"Now I know this group believes in small government, and I know this group believes in individual rights and freedom. But I'm seeing that on this issue. I'm not that sense and that will. What I'm seeing here is the heavy hand of government saying, This minority group is not equal.'"
The bill passed 16 to 14. The House will need to agree with the Senate's changes to the bill before sending it on to Gov. Matt Mead for his signature.