Wyoming Domestic Partnership Bill Passes Out Of Committee

Wyoming legislators have kiboshed marriage equality (for now), but The Equality State seems to be more down with separate but equal. From The Casper Star-Tribune:

Reverse of 2007 Wyoming quarter -- "The E...

Reverse of 2007 Wyoming quarter — “The Equality State” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A bill that would allow same-sex couples in Wyoming to create domestic partnerships carrying most of the legal rights of conventional marriage cleared a state House committee vote Monday after a sometimes contentious, sometimes bizarre public debate.

The move sends legislation on to a full floor debate in the state Legislature for the first time.

“This is a forward step,” said Rep. Cathy Connolly, a Laramie Democrat and a lesbian. “It’s important that our relationships are recognized. These are the kinds of statutes that both protect us and recognize us.”

Wyoming Equality weighs in:

Today, a historic law that would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families passed its first hurdle in the Wyoming House of Representatives by a 7-2 vote. House Bill (HB) 168 would create a domestic partnership registry for opposite-sex and same-sex couples in committed relationships. HB169, which would have granted same-sex couples the freedom to marry, failed by a 5-4 vote.

The law, which was authored by Representative Cathy Connolly, would provide essential protections to LGBT families. The Domestic Partnerships Rights and Responsibilities Act (HB168) would ensure that both opposite-sex and same-sex couples have basic legal protections, such as the ability to make emergency medical decisions for each other and to make joint decisions about their children’s health and wellbeing.

“This is a historic day for equality,” said Jeran Artery, the Chair of Wyoming Equality. “Today marks the first time a bill has moved forward in the Wyoming legislature which would provide essential protections for LGBT families.

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