Wyoming LGBT Laws

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1. State

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is lawful at age 18 years [L1.1].

Title 14 – Children. Chapter 1 – General Provisions. Article 1 – In General [L1.1]

14-1-101. Age of majority; rights on emancipation.

(a) Upon becoming eighteen (18) years of age, an individual reaches the age of majority and as an adult acquires all rights and responsibilities granted or imposed by statute or common law, except as otherwise provided by law.

(b) … (e)

R1.1 Wyoming Statutes: Title 14 – Children. Chapter 1 – General Provisions (Accessed 01 JAN 11)
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1. State

No municipalities are known to offer domestic partner benefits.


On 28 January 2013, the House Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee rejected a marriage equality bill (HB0169) in a 5–4 vote, but voted 7–2 to send a domestic partnership bill (HB0168) to the full House for consideration [R1.2].

On 28 January 2010, House Judiciary Committee split 5 –4 against bill (HB 150) that would have permitted civil unions in Wyoming [R1.1].

R1.2 GayStarNews: Gay marrigage bill defeated by committee in Wyoming legislature 28 JAN 13
R1.1 Wyoming Tribune Eagle: Civil unions bill dies in committee 29 JAN 11
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1. State

On 24 February 2015, the House of Representatives voted down 33-26 a bill that would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In contrast, on 10 February, the Senate voted 24-6 to pass Bill SF0115 [R1.4].

On 10 February 2015, the Senate voted 24-6 to approve a bill (SF0115) to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.The Bill now goes to the House [R1.3].

On 31 January 2013, the Senate in a 17–13 roll-call vote defeated Bill SB 0131, that would have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity [L1.2], [R1.1].

2. Cities & Towns

On 13 May 2015, Laramie City Council passed 7-2 Original Ordinance No. 1914 Illegal Discrimination that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and sets up a process for filing discrimination complaints, which the city will then investigate. The ordinance will go into effect by the end of this month [L2.2], [R2.1].

R1.4 LGBTQnation: Wyoming House shoots down LGBT anti discrimination bill 24 FEB 15
R1.3 LGBTQnation: Wyoming Senate approves bill to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination 10 FE 15
L1.2 Wyoming Legislature: Senate File No. SF 0131 PDF 30.64kb, 15 JAN 13
R1.1 StarTribune: Wyoming Senate defeats gay discrimination bill 31 JAN 13
L2.2 City of Laramie Agenda Special Meeting and Ordinance: Original Ordinance No. 1914 Illegal Discrimination PDF344.56kb, 12 MAY 15
R2.1 TheAdvocate: 17 Years After Matthew Shepard’s Murder, Laramie Passes LGBT Protections 14 MAY 15
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1. State

In May 2000, the Laramie City Council narrowly approved a hate crimes ordinance that supporters say is modest but a start in the effort to address crimes motivated by prejudice in Wyoming [R1.1].

In 1999, the Wyoming Legislature defeated seven bias crime bills. In 2000, in the state Senate, a bias crime measure failed to receive the two-thirds vote necessary for introduction Ibid.

R1.1 Casper Star-Tribune: Laramie Passes Hate Crimes Ordinance 04 MAY 00
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT]
1. State

In 1977, consensual sex between same-sex couples was decriminalised [R1.1].

R1.1 Wyoming Statutes: Title 6 – Crimes and Offences
ILGA: Annual Report 1996 – Part II 1996
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1. State

On 17 October 2014, Judge Scott W Skavdahl in the US District Court in Wyoming granted a preliminary injunction and temporary stay ordering the state not to enforce or apply the state statute denying marriage to same-sex couples or to deny recognition of otherwise valid same-sex marriages entered into elsewhere. The Court stayed the order until 23 October 2014 or until the State files notice that they will not appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, See below at: [C2.6], [R2.5].

Previously:

State law defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman, but it also requires the State to recognize marriages performed in other states [quaere: see below] [L1.15].

Title 20 – Domestic Relations. Chapter 1 – Husband and Wife. Article 1 – Creation of Marriage [L1.15].

20–1–101. Marriage a civil contract.

Marriage is a civil contract between a male and a female person to which the consent of the parties capable of contracting is essential.

20-1-111. Foreign marriages.

All marriage contracts which are valid by the laws of the country in which contracted are valid in this state. [Quare: other US “States”]


On 13 February 2014, the Wyoming House defeated 41-17 HB87 that would have defined marriage as a contract between two natural persons and HB108 that would have prohibited the state from recognizing gay marriages performed outside the state was defeated 31-29 [R1.14].

On 28 January 2013, the House Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee rejected a marriage equality bill (HB0169) in a 5–4 vote, but voted 7–2 to send a domestic partnership bill (HB0168) to the full House for consideration [R1.13].

On 02 March 2011, the Senate rejected a bill that would have prevented the state from recognizing marriages for same-sex couples performed outside of the state with a 16–14 vote. The legislation is now dead but can be sent back to a difference conference committee by the president of the senate [R1.12].

On 01 March 2011, the six-member legislative conference committee voted 4–2 vote, to narrow House Bill 74 to only invalidate same-sex marriages from other states and countries [R1.11].

On 22 February 2011, the House of Representatives voted not to agree with Senate changes to a bill that would specify that the state wouldn’t recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. A House and Senate conference committee will meet later to try to resolve the difference [R1.10].

On 17 February 2011, the Senate voted to advance a bill that would ban recognition of same-sex marriages performed out of state, but the chamber also approved an amendment that would remove language to prohibit civil unions [R1.9].

On 28 January 2011, House Bill 149 to redefine marriage as a union between two natural persons instead of one man and one woman died in the House Judiciary Committee for lack of a motion [R1.8].

On 27 January 2011, the Senate voted 20–10 approving a bill to allow voters to decide whether the state constitution should be amended to specify non-recognition of same-sex marriages. The bill now goes to the House [R1.7].

On 25 January 2011, Senate Joint Resolution 5, which defines marriage as a union only between two people of the opposite sex, was passed 21–9. The legislation would need to clear two more senate votes before advancing to the House, where passage in not certain [R1.6]

On 24 January 2011, House Bill 74 prohibiting recognition of legal same-sex marriages performed outside Wyoming was passed in a 32–27 vote and headed for the Senate [R1.5].

In January 2011, House Bill 74 would change state law to prohibit recognition of legal same-sex marriages performed outside Wyoming. House Bill 149 would legalize same-sex marriages in Wyoming [R1.4].

In December 2010, a proposal to allow Wyoming’s voters to determine whether the state Constitution should define marriage as a union between a man and a woman was expected to return during the 2011 general session of the Wyoming Legislature (Senate Joint Resolution 5) [R1.3].

In February 2009, the state legislature was considering legislation that would clear the way for a statewide ballot that would ban recognition of any out-of-state gay marriage [R1.1]. The state legislature rejected the bill [R1.2].

In 1997, a second attempt to ban same-sex marriages failed to advance past the Labor, Health and Social Service Committee.

In 1996, an attempt to ban same-sex marriages failed to receive enough votes for introduction.

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 21 October 2014, state attorney general filed notice that the State will not appeal last week’s decision that the state cannot bar same-sex couples from marrying. US District Court Judge Scott Skavdah ordered his temporary stay lifted and preliminary injunction granted, enabling same-sex marriages to proceed in Wyoming [C2.9], [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 17 October 2014, Judge Scott W Skavdahl in the US District Court in Wyoming granted a preliminary injunction and temporary stay ordering the state not to enforce or apply the state statute denying marriage to same-sex couples or to deny recognition of otherwise valid same-sex marriages entered into elsewhere. The Court stayed the order until 23 October 2014 or until the State files notice that they will not appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals [C2.6], [R2.5].

On 05 March 2014, Cora Courage and Wyoma Proffit, Carl Oleson and Rob Johnston, Anne Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson and Uvan Williams and Chalres Killion filed a complaint in the 1st Judicial District, County of Laramie, challenging the same-sex marriage ban and seeking recognition of same-sex marriages lawfully entered into in other jurisdications [C2.4].

On 06 June 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that Paula Christiansen and Victoria Lee Christiansen who were legally married in Canada in 2008 and can divorce in Wyoming [R2.3] — Christiansen v. Christiansen, 2011 WY 90, 2011 WL 2176486 (Wyoming Supreme Court, June 6, 2011).

In May 2011, the Supreme Court denied a second request from 13 lawmakers, including House Speaker Ed Buchanan, R-Torrington, to file a “friend of the court” brief in a pending same-sex divorce case [R2.2].

On 23 February 2011, the Supreme Court denied a request from 13 state lawmakers to be heard in support of a ruling last year by Niobrara County District Judge Keith Kautz (see below) in a pending same-sex divorce case appeal, apparently accepting the argument that the lawmakers’ interest in the case merely served “to perpetuate a political agenda” and wouldn’t address the legal issues before the court [R2.1].

In November 2010, Judicial District Court Judge Keith Kautz refused to grant a divorce to a Lusk couple, Paula and Victoria Lee Christiansen, who married in Canada in 2006, stating stated that there’s a conflict in Wyoming law about whether the state recognizes legal same-sex marriages from outside the state [R1.4].

cf. 20–1–101 and 20–1–111 above.

L1.15 Wyoming Statutes: Title 20 – Domestic Relations. Chapter 1 – Husband and Wife (Accessed 01 JAN 11)
R1.14 StarTribune: Wyoming House defeats gay marriage bills 14 FEB 14
R1.13 GayStarNews: Gay marrigage bill defeated by committee in Wyoming legislature 28 JAN 13
R1.12 The Advocate: Wyoming Senate Kills Antigay Bill 03 MAR 11
R1.11 Star-Tribune: Wyoming lawmakers reach compromise on anti-gay marriage bill 01 MAR 11
R1.10 NECN: House doesn’t concur on same-sex marriage bill 22 FEB 11
R1.9 The Advocate: Wyoming Senate Advances Anti-Marriage Equality Bill 18 FEB 11
R1.8 Wyoming Tribune Eagle: Civil unions bill dies in committee 29 JAN 11
R1.7 New England Cable News: Wyoming Senate OKs proposed gay marriage ban US (WY) 27 JAN 11
R1.6 The Advocate: Wyoming Forwards Another Antigay Bill 25 JAN 11
R1.5 Caspar Star Tribune: House passes anti-gay marriage bill 24 JAN 11
R1.4 Billings Gazette: Same-sex divorce stirs debate 14 JAN 11
R1.3 Wyoming News: State lawmakers plan return of “defense of marriage” act 25 DEC 10
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Wyoming legislators reject changing state constitution to ban gay marriage 10 FEB 09
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Wyoming legislators protecting “traditional” marriage with gay ban 04 FEB 09
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.9 Order Lifting Stay: Anne Marie Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson, et al., v. Mathew H Mead, et al. No. 2:14-cv-00200-SWS PDF 384.52kb, 21 OCT 14
C2.8 Notice: Anne Marie Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson, et al., v. Mathew H Mead, et al. No. 2:14-cv-00200-SWS PDF 149.34kb, 21 OCT 14
R2.7 BuzzFeed: Marriage Equality Comes To Wyoming 22 OCT 14
C2.6 Order: Anne Marie Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson, et al., v. Matthew M Mead, et al No. 14-CV-200-SWS PDF 792.19kb, 17 OCT 14
R2.5 EqualityOnTrial: Wyoming barred from enforcing same-sex marriage ban 17 OCT 14
C2.4 Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief: Cora Courage and Wyoma Proffit, Carl Oleson and Rob Johnston, Anne Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson and Uvan Williams and Chalres Killion v. State of Wyoming, Matthew H Mead, et al. Docket 182 No. 262 PDF 1.04MB, 05 MAR 14
R2.3 Trib.com: Wyoming Supreme Court: State can grant same-sex couple a divorce 06 JUN 11
R2.2 NECN: Court again snubs lawmakers in same-sex divorce 06 MAY 11
R2.1 NECN: Court rejects lawmakers’ brief in divorce case 23 FEB 11