Yesterday, the Wyoming House advanced legislation prohibiting the state from recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages. The measure “passed on its first hearing with 34 votes,” but will not move to the Senate until it is approved by the House two additional times.
The Billings Gazette reports that most lawmakers attempted to portray the measure as a simple clarification of current law — the state does recognize marriages performed elsewhere and does not specifically exclude same-sex marriages — but state Rep. Frank Peasley (R) went a step further saying that conservatives were fighting against “government intrusion” into marriage, likening the expansion of marriage to smoking bans:
“I think all this is, is an outpost in culture that says, ‘Listen, I feel like you’re destroying everything else that I have,’” Peasley said. “You’ve gotten involved in the raising of my children, the way I discipline them, the way I feed them, whether or not I can smoke in the car, whether or not I have them properly equipped; you’ve just gotten into my life so much, let’s just let me define the relationship I’m in, OK?”
“Let’s just back up a little bit and see what’s happened,” Peasley said. “And maybe recognize this as that last outpost in our culture where a group of people has said, ‘please, please, let us be what we’ve always been.’ You can’t even define a family anymore.
The legislature is also “considering a Senate bill that proposes a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage,” but that measure may have a hard time garnering the needed 2/3 majority to pass in the House. Meanwhile, Rep. Cathy Connolly, a Democrat who is a lesbian and a supporter of marriage equality, will introduce two bills to legalize same-sex marriages and establish civil unions.