LGBT rights in Wyoming
|LGBT rights in Wyoming|
|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)|
|Statute limits marriage to man/woman|
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
Wyoming is the only U.S. state that has no published sodomy cases.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
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.
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. Governor Matt Mead said he favored domestic partnerships. On January 28, a House committee approved the domestic partnership bill 7-2. The House rejected domestic partnerships on January 30, 2013 in a 24-35 vote.
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. Likewise, on January 31, 2013, the state Senate rejected a similar bill by a vote of 15 to 13.
Hate crimes legislation
Wyoming does have a hate crimes law. 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."
- "The History of Sodomy Laws in the United States - Wyoming". Glapn.org. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- William N. Eskridge, Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003 (NY: Penguin Group, 2008), 201n, available online, accessed April 10, 2011
- TITLE 6 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES
- Huelsmann, Kevin (January 15, 2013). "Lawmakers back gay marriage, union bills". Jackson Hole News and Guide. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
- Celock, John (January 29, 2013). "Wyoming Legislative Committee Rejects Gay Marriage, Passes Domestic Partnerships". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- "Wyoming House defeats domestic partnership bill". Billings Gazette. January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- "H.B. No. 0142". Legisweb.state.wy.us. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Barron, Joan. "Wyoming Senate defeats gay discrimination bill," trib.com, 31 January 2013, accessed 1 February 2013.
- "Wyoming Hate Crimes Law," hrc.org, accessed 1 February 2013.
- Rule, Juliette (October 5, 2003). "Bias-crime law a hard sell in Wyoming". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved January 25, 2013.