Wyoming: Bang! Your Gay Marriage is Void

Head ’em off at the pass: So let’s just say a couple of guys from Boston who were legally married under Massachusetts law decided to move to Wyoming to live out their Brokeback Mountain fantasy. According to a bill being considered by the state legislature, as soon as they crossed the border into Wyoming, their marriage would cease to exist in the eyes of the state. Seems lind of silly, don’t it?

I cannot envision hordes of married gay couples from Massachusetts, England, Canada, Amsterdam or any place like that thronging to Wyoming at any point in the near future.

Massachusetts is the only state that currently grants marriage licenses to same-sex couples; others permit civil unions but the proposed law only pertains to gay marriages. Wyoming already has a law in place that mandates marriages conducted in the state must be between a man and woman.

“All the bill does is say that we don’t have to honor the same-sex marriages that are performed in other states,” the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Gerald E. Geis, R-Worland, said. “If a couple came from Massachusetts, or wherever they allow same-sex marriage, we would not have to recognize it here.”

Gay rights groups say the measure is unnecessary.

“I don’t know where the fear of a mass influx of married gay people entering Wyoming and demanding recognition comes from,” said the Rev. Bob Spencer, social change coordinator for Wyoming Equality. “I cannot envision hordes of (married gay) couples from Massachusetts, England, Canada, Amsterdam or any place like that thronging to Wyoming at any point in the near future.”

Carrie Evans, state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group, echoed that: “Surely the Wyoming legislature has real problems to deal with.”

But a co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. Owen Petersen, R-Mountain View, said the measure is extremely important. “In the past 30 years, most of the statistics support the fact that with the loss of marriage and a stable home environment there are more adverse impacts on society with crime and with various other things that cause a deterioration of our whole country,” Petersen said.

Note that Wyoming is the least populous state in the union, with just over 500,000 residents. Seems like there would be enough room in the Big Sky country to accommodate a few gay and lesbian married couples without undermining the fabric of Wyoming society …

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