LGBT rights in Wyoming

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LGBT rights in Wyoming
Wyoming (USA)
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1977
Gender identity/expression State does not require sex reassignment surgery to alter sex on birth certificate
Discrimination protections None (see below)
Family rights
Recognition of
Statute limits marriage to man/woman
Adoption No restrictions

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Wyoming face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Wyoming, but same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for all of the same protections available to opposite-sex married couples.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Wyoming is the only U.S. state that has no published sodomy cases.[1]

Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Wyoming since February 1977.[2] The age of consent for all consensual sexual activity is 18.[3]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]


Wyoming recognizes no legal relationship on the part of same-sex couples. It has prohibited same-sex marriage by statute since 1977 and it enacted a more explicit ban in 2003. A lawsuit challenging that ban was filed in state court in March 2014.

Domestic partnership[edit]

On January 14, 2013, legislators filed a bill creating domestic partnerships to allow same-sex couples to "obtain the rights, responsibilities, protections and legal benefits provided in Wyoming for immediate family members." Legislators who favor same-sex marriage supported the legislative tactic of offering the alternatives.[4] Governor Matt Mead said he favored domestic partnerships. On January 28, a House committee approved the domestic partnership bill 7-2.[5] The House rejected domestic partnerships on January 30, 2013 in a 24-35 vote.[6]

Discrimination protections[edit]

There are no laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. On January 31, 2011, the state House rejected a bill banning such discrimination.[7] Likewise, on January 31, 2013, the state Senate rejected a similar bill by a vote of 15 to 13.[8]

Hate crimes legislation[edit]

Wyoming does have a hate crimes law.[9][10] In 1999, following the murder of Matthew Shepard near Laramie, Wyoming, such legislation was "hotly debated." Proponents of such legislation since then have preferred the term "bias crime."[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The History of Sodomy Laws in the United States - Wyoming". Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  2. ^ William N. Eskridge, Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003 (NY: Penguin Group, 2008), 201n, available online, accessed April 10, 2011
  4. ^ Huelsmann, Kevin (January 15, 2013). "Lawmakers back gay marriage, union bills". Jackson Hole News and Guide. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ Celock, John (January 29, 2013). "Wyoming Legislative Committee Rejects Gay Marriage, Passes Domestic Partnerships". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Wyoming House defeats domestic partnership bill". Billings Gazette. January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ "H.B. No. 0142". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  8. ^ Barron, Joan. "Wyoming Senate defeats gay discrimination bill,", 31 January 2013, accessed 1 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Wyoming Hate Crimes Law,", accessed 1 February 2013.
  10. ^ a b Rule, Juliette (October 5, 2003). "Bias-crime law a hard sell in Wyoming". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved January 25, 2013.