PNS Daily Newscast - January 16, 2019 

A judge rules on a controversial citizenship question for the 2020 census; some fishing communities expected to feel the effects of the government shutdown; and new climate concerns as Antarctic ice is melting faster than we thought.

Daily Newscasts

WYO Bucks the Trend on "Anti-Gay Marriage"

February 26, 2007

State legislatures and voters across the country have been choosing anti-same sex marriage laws for the past two years, but Wyoming is not one of them. A House committee has voted down an "anti-gay marriage" law.

The debate in the Equality State may be a model across the country, according to Bob Spencer, a retired hospital chaplain and spokesman for the group Wyoming Equality. Spencer says he's happy the House committee rejected the bill and, throughout the process, he's been impressed by the civility of the discussion.

"I felt like there were a number of very good speakers that spoke against the bill, and there were some good speakers that spoke for it, also."

Spencer says a chief concern has been that such a law could incite attacks, in a state where violence against people who are gay or lesbian is a sensitive topic -- the home state of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man who was murdered in 1998.

"It causes violence to raise its head up against gay and lesbian people. It also sometimes causes some gay and lesbian folks to feel so depressed that they try to commit suicide."

The proposed law would have barred Wyoming from recognizing a same-sex marriage from another state. Backers say the law is needed to protect traditional Western values, but those who spoke against the bill cited personal reasons, including friends or relatives whose rights might be violated by the law. Others view it as discrimination against specific people. The Wyoming Senate had approved the bill.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WY