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Marriage Bill Still Evolving

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When House Bill 74, the Validity of Marriages bill, returns to the Senate Floor Friday for third reading, it likely to look much different from what originally was passed out of the House.  Teton County Senator Leland Christiansen says in the first two readings, much has been stripped out of the original language in order to use the bill to better define a law that is already on Wyoming’s books.  Christiansen says there are a couple specific concerns the bill speaks to including existing language in Wyoming law that says marriage is between one man and one woman.  Christiansen says the bill seeks to address whether Wyoming should recognize marriages from other states or countries that are beyond that definition.  Christiansen says in addition to gay marriage, the bill addresses those who move to Wyoming from other countries where marriage may involve multiple spouses.  Currently, Wyoming does recognize those relationships which allows people to come into Wyoming and have legal rights that resident already here don’t have.  Christiansen says the Senate is largely divided on the issue from the state’s posture as The Equality State, from religious convictions, and from concerns about possible violation to interstate laws.  Christiansen says he voted to move the bill forward to third reading, wishing to see how further amendment to the bill will impact its acceptability.

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