Speed Read: Wyoming nixes two bills
WYOMING DEFEATS TWO MARRIAGE BILLS: The Wyoming House rejected two marriage-related bills Thursday. One, introduced by openly gay State Rep. Cathy Connolly (D-Laramie), sought to allow same-sex couples to marry. That was defeated 17 to 41. The second, introduced by Rep. Gerald Gay (R-Natrona), sought to ensure the state would not recognize the marriage licenses of same-sex couples who married in other states. That was defeated 29 to 31.
INDIANA SENATE SLOWS BAN DOWN: The Indiana Senate on Thursday voted to agree to a ban on same-sex marriage that was approved by the House—a ban that does not include civil unions or domestic partnerships. The vote means that the proposed constitutional amendment must go through the legislature once again, next session, and cannot reach the ballot before 2016. Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry group, called the vote a “welcome step back from the brink.” Megan Robertson, head of Freedom Indiana, said her group “continues to oppose the amendment in any form, but make no mistake: This is a huge victory.” Had the senate approved the same bill the legislature approved last year –with the civil union/domestic partnership language intact—the House would likely have gone along and the measure would have been before voters this November.
MISSOURI GOV SAYS DROP BAN: Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon said Thursday he would like to see voters repeal the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. Nixon was appearing before an event sponsored by the state press association. “My personal belief is that we shouldn’t treat folks differently because of who they are and who they love. If folks want to get married, they should be able to get married,” said Nixon, according to the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.
WENDY DAVIS SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY: It’s hard to say how much it will help or hurt her chances for election, but Texas’ Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis told the editorial board of the San Antonio News-Express Thursday that she supports the right of same-sex couples to marry. Her likely Republican opponent, the current attorney general, is defending the state’s ban against three lawsuits in federal court. Davis hedged a little when asked if she would push to repeal the state’s existing definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Davis said, “I would certainly open up that conversation with the legislature.”
TEXAS JUDGE HEARS MARRIAGE CASE: U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia heard two hours of arguments Wednesday in lawsuits brought by two same-sex couples. Orlando (a Clinton nominee) gave no indication of how soon he will rule on the constitutionality of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage, but he said the ultimate decision would not be made by him but by “five people” –an obvious reference to a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court. There are at least 38 lawsuits in 24 states challenging state bans on same-sex couples marrying.
BILLIE JEAN MAY BE BACK: Openly gay former Olympic medalist Brian Boitano told MSNBC Wednesday that tennis legend Billie Jean King may be able to join the presidential delegation to the closing ceremony. King was slated to join Boitano at the opening ceremony, but her mother was gravely ill and she withdrew from the trip. King’s mother died February 7, on the day of the opening ceremony. She was 91.