Wyoming lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to bar the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, the Torrington Telegram reports:
State Rep. Owen Petersen of (R-Mountain View) and State Sen. Curt Meier (R-LaGrange) are taking the initiative to reevaluate the state’s definition of marriage. The two lawmakers plan to co-sponsor a resolution at the 2011 General Session that would allow voters to decide whether or not the state should give constitutional authority to same-sex marriage.
Currently, state law defines marriage as “the legal union between a man and woman,” but Wyoming still accepts marriages performed in other states. This puts out-of-state gay marriage licenses into question.
A resolution would clarify the outcome when gay couples enter Wyoming with marriage licenses obtained elsewhere. Ultimately, it would also reaffirm that the state—not the federal court system—has the last word on the constitutional authority of gay marriage.
Regarding the validity of a same-sex marriage carrying into Wyoming, Meier says, “there is a conflict in the state statute.” He continued, “On one hand, it says that it is not valid. On the other hand, there’s a statutory fix and not a constitutional fix. The resolution would take care of that loophole.”
In 2010, a Cheyenne, Wyoming couple filed suit challenging the constitutionality of Wyoming's marriage law, but after "the lawsuit came under fire from some gay-rights activists who worried about its legal arguments and Shupe-Roderick’s history of litigation and criminal activities," it was dropped.
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