Two swift legislative moves occurred in one day for the Wyoming House Corporations Committee. They rejected a bill to legalize same-sex marriage (HB 169) with a 5-4 vote, but passed a domestic partnership bill (HB 168) for same-sex couples.
According to Wyoming Tribune Eagle:
Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, who is the only openly gay member in the state Legislature, was the lead sponsor of both bills.
She said she was disappointed by the gay marriage bill’s defeat. However, she said the domestic partnership proposal still is a needed bill to give many couples rights that they lack today.
“This is an important step for the recognition of LGBT citizens in this state,” she said. “It is important for us that our relationships are recognized … and these are the kinds of statutes that helps protects us, recognize us and make us full citizens.”
HB 168 would allow gay couples to obtain the rights, responsibilities, protections and legal benefits of immediate family members. It also states that a domestic partnership is a “civil contract between two natural persons” who are at least 18 years old.
A similar bill was rejected by a House committee on a 5-4 vote in 2011.