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Monday, January 24, 2011

Wyoming Doesn't Want You... Or You... Or You...

Jan 24th, 2011

When The Daily Beast rated Wyoming as "the least tolerant state" last week I checked out what they had to say. Their methodology, however detailed, still ultimately relied on a narrow set of metrics. Ironically, last year they were also rated the "best run state” by 24/7 Wall St using very different criteria.

I am more inclined to side with the former rather than the latter in light of this afternoon's events. The Star-Tribune reports today:

"The Wyoming House passed legislation Monday to stop recognition of out-of-state gay marriages and civil unions.

House Bill 74 now heads to the Senate, where its chances for passage appear good.

State Rep. Owen Petersen, R-Mountain View, the bill's sponsor, said the legislation is needed to resolve a conflict in Wyoming law, which defines marriage as a contract "between a male and a female person" but also recognizes any valid marriage performed outside the state. Other supporters have said the bill will help to hold back government intrusion into Wyoming traditions and culture.

Opponents said the bill is unnecessary, violates the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, and would create havoc for legally married out-of-state gay couples traveling in Wyoming." Emphasis mine

Following the DB rating so closely, the timing of the Wyoming state legislature's actions is amazing. Equally stunning is the implication that something being left to “the states” just isn't good enough for these Tea Party driven folks. So much for that meme.

One last observation: It's also wildly stupid. The second highest source of revenue for Wyoming is tourism. Hmmm.

"We both want to stay in the same room."
"Screw you."

"That's my partner in the back of that ambulance. I want to ride along." 

"Screw you." 

"That's my partner who just went from the emergency room to surgery! What's going on?!" 

"Screw you." 

Why risk this? After the 40 year journey since Stonewall, does any LGBT couple really want to chance so much as even passing through this state? 

From where I sit, just outside Chicago, there are an awful lot of ways to get to San Francisco, L.A., Portland or Seattle and vice-versa that don't go through Wyoming. Plan accordingly.

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