Wy. Gay Marriage Supporters Launch Public Education Campaign
Scores of same-sex marriage supporters in Wyoming gathered in front of the state Capitol on Monday to kick off a public education campaign aimed at building support for marriage equality in the "Equality State."
Jeran Artery, chairman of Wyoming Equality, a gay rights advocacy group, said Monday at the Capitol that Wyoming must live up to its motto of being the "Equality State."
"Today, we’re proud to launch Wyoming Unites for Marriage, a historic, grass-roots effort to move forward in our state," Artery said. "Wyoming is ready for marriage. Together we can make the freedom to marry a reality sooner rather than later."
Artery introduced his fiance, Mike Bleakley, to the crowd. "We make Cheyenne, Wyoming our home because we love it here, we enjoy building a great life here in Cheyenne, and we don’t want to leave," Artery said. "This is our home. Like so many of our friends and neighbors, we just want to be treated like everybody else."
Four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality filed a lawsuit earlier this month against Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and other officials. The lawsuit challenges Wyoming law specifying marriage may only exist between one man and one woman.
Speaking at a press conference last week in Cheyenne, Mead said he had read media accounts of the same-sex marriage lawsuit. He said his personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman.
"We see obviously these lawsuits popping up around the country, but the attorney general will obviously defend Wyoming law as it is," Mead said. He said he wouldn’t venture a guess as to what the courts would do with the pending case.
The current push to recognize same-sex marriage in Wyoming comes as a federal court in Denver is set to hear arguments from a same-sex marriage case from Utah next month. The state of Utah is appealing a federal judge’s recent ruling that its prohibition against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.