Federal lawsuit challenges Wyoming marriage law

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August 31, 2010

CHEYENNE, Wyoming: A federal lawsuit filed in Cheyenne by a gay couple is challenging the Wyoming law which allows marriage only between a man and a woman. The couple, David Shupe-Roderick and Ryan Dupree, say that the Laramie County Clerk's office refused to issue them a marriage license on August 9. Representing themselves, they are asking U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson to stop the state from enforcing laws which deny civil marriage to gays and lesbians.

A number of questions have arisen around the viability of the lawsuit. Laramie County Clerk Debbye Balcaen Lathrop said that she has never met with either of the men and that no one in her office knows anything about a marriage license being denied to them. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Gov. Dave Freudenthal stated that the administration is prepared to defend the Wyoming marriage law.

Currently, marriages performed in Wyoming can only be between a man and a woman. However, the state must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Last year the Wyoming Legislature rejected a proposed bill that would have amended the state constitution specifying Wyoming would not recognize same-sex marriages from states.[1]

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