Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wayward Wyoming

PostBlog: Pam has an update on this. The bill died in committee. Three Republican members voted it down. Maybe there is hope after all.

(Matthew Shepard)

Wyoming legislators are working to strengthen homophobia in their state law:

The Wyoming Legislature this week will take up discussion a proposed ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

The Senate last month voted 21-8 to endorse a bill that prohibits Wyoming from recognizing same-sex marriages. Wyoming law already specifies that marriages performed in the state must be between a man and a woman.
"I wanted a deliberative panel to look at it without any preconception," Cohee said, which is why he chose the Rules Committee. "I think it will get a good fair hearing (yeah right) on whatever it is that is in the bill."

Bob Spencer, a retired hospital chaplain in Cheyenne, is spokesman for Wyoming Equality, a group that works on gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual issues in the state.

Spencer said Friday the legislation brings up painful memories of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who was beaten to death apparently because of his sexuality.

"I think it paints a bad picture for the state of Wyoming," Spencer said. "That's on top of the history of gay people in Wyoming, speaking particularly of Matthew Shepard and all the events around that. We would hope that we can build a much more positive attitude toward gay, lesbian and bisexual people."