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Wyoming House of Representatives Rejects Marriage Amendment

Proposed amendment would have written discrimination into Wyoming constitution

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By: Human Rights Campaign

WASHINGTON Feb. 6, 2009 - Earlier today, Wyoming's House of Representatives voted against a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have defined marriage between a man and a woman as the only legal union recognized in the state. Thirty-five of 60 House members voted against House Joint Resolution 17. Forty votes-a 2/3 majority-were needed to pass the resolution and move it on to the Senate.

"We are grateful that the Wyoming House of Representatives stood up for equality and refused to write discrimination into the state constitution," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "We congratulate Representative Cathy Connolly and the 34 other representatives who voted against the resolution, as well as Wyoming Equality and HRC members who urged their representatives to stand up for equality."

"I am thrilled and proud that my colleagues took a stand against writing discrimination into Wyoming's constitution," said Representative Cathy Connolly.

Connolly and 34 other representatives voted against the proposed amendment. Several representatives, including Rep. Pete Illoway, Rep. Sue Wallis, Rep. Keith Gingery and Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, gave strong statements in opposition to the resolution. Rep. Pat Childers spoke of his daughter, who is a lesbian. Rep. Roy Cohee spoke in emotional terms of his continued opposition to the amendment. Cohee killed the bill two years ago with a tiebreaking vote.

Today's vote indefinitely tables the resolution. The session ends in March.

Wyoming law already prohibits marriage by gay and lesbian couples. The resolution, which sought to place the proposed amendment before voters, would have written this prohibition into the state constitution and also threatened to prohibit other forms of relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

 

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