March 7, 2011
Shortly before the Wyoming legislature adjourned (March 3rd), a final vote to concur on HB74, as passed out of the joint conference committee, was held in both the House and Senate. The final version of HB74 stated that Wyoming would not recognize same-sex "marriages" performed out-of-state, but did not address civil unions or other relationships. The House voted 31 to 28 to pass the bill as amended, however the Senate failed the bill by a 16 to 14 vote.
It is unfortunate that this bill would die by such a close margin, especially with strong Republican majorities in both Houses. Becky Vandeberghe, president of WyWatch Family Action, emphasized however that this bill and other pro-family bills had made it farther in the legislative process this year than in past sessions, and that constituents now have a clear voting record of their legislators stance on marriage.
Other marriage-related bills that did not receive a final vote before the session adjourned include: SJ 5, a Marriage Protection Amendment, HB 150, a bill establishing civil unions, and HB 149, a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. These are issues that Wyoming voters can expect to weigh in on in future sessions.
Concerning other issues, three bills that did not pass out of the legislature this session include a bill that would prohibit assisted suicide (HB 148), a bill that would establish gender identity/sexual orientation "non-discrimination" (HB 142), and a bill that would require doctors to give specified information to women and tell them they could view an ultrasound before performing an abortion (HB 251).