GOP state Rep. Keith Gingery is one of the cosponsors of a marriage equality bill just proposed in Wyoming. Yes, Wyoming.
Laramie Democratic Rep. Cathy Connolly filed legislation late Monday afternoon that would create a path for gay couples to form civil unions or get married. The dual approach already has won the backing of Reps. Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson, and Gingery. Both Teton County lawmakers said they would prefer to see gay marriage allowed in Wyoming but are willing to debate whether civil unions might be a better way to go. “It’s a basic human rights and fairness issue,” Petroff said Monday. “It’s a basic constitutional issue. There should just be no reason why same-sex couples shouldn’t have the same rights as everyone else.” Gingery is the chairman of the judiciary committee, which will be the first to debate the bills. He said the issue poses a legal problem that state officials need to resolve. “The population of gay couples in the state is increasing, and the law is not very clear about what rights they have,” he said. Gingery, who is Catholic, says the question of whether to allow same-sex couples to get married in Wyoming isn’t a religious issue. If passed, the laws wouldn’t affect church policy, he said.Same-sex marriage bills have failed in the Wyoming legislature in 2007, 2009, and 2011.