Last week was a tough week in the Wyoming Legislature with little to be happy about. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed SJ5- Defense of marriage – constitutional amendment 3-2. The bill calls for a vote to amend the Wyoming Constitution to read “A marriage between a man and a woman shall be the only legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state”. HB 74 – Validity of Marriage also passed two hurdles in the House, this bill provides that marriages between more than two parties are void along with stating that the only valid marriages in Wyoming are between a man and a woman. Both of these proposals clearly discriminate against same sex couples and have no place in the equality state or any other state for that matter.
In addition, the House Labor Committee passed HB 118 - Abortion - available information for decision which requires a doctor to offer a woman requesting an abortion a look at an ultra sound and a lesson on fetal pain along with a 24 hour waiting period before obtaining an abortion. This bill unnecessarily delays a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion solely for the purpose of providing her biased, inaccurate information and to attempt to shame her out of her decision. Physicians not politicians should decide what is said to a patient. This bill requires doctors to provide biased information for political purposes. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist along with the American Medical Association have found the nerve connections in the fetal brain are not sufficiently formed to allow pain perception. This bill is not about facts. It is about politics.
HB65 – Marital counseling also passed out of committee. This bill would require couples to have 3 hours of premarital counseling prior to receiving a marriage license. If they do not complete counseling there would be a waiting period for marriage licenses. The bill also requires counseling prior to receiving a divorce decree.
Legislators are still filing bills HB0204 – Patriotism in classroom, HJ0008 - Sharia Law, HJ0004 - Repeal 17th Amendment ( the 17th Amendment allows for citizens to vote for U.S. Senators – if repealed the legislators would vote for senators) The time, money and effort spent on legislating to curtail or remove civil liberties in this legislature is astonishing. I hope everyone is paying close attention to the kind of bills your legislators are filing and the way they want the government to control both personal and public life. Many of these bills are bills are bills that have already been blocked as being unconstitutional.
Next week will be another busy week with HB94 - Illegal Immigration set for the Minerals Committee at 8:00 AM Monday morning. This bill is a mirror bill of the Arizona bill, parts of that bill have already been found unconstitutional and other sections are still embroiled in court battles. While it is clear that we need reasonable fair immigration reform immigration law is strictly controlled by the federal government; this bill only encourages racial profiling and discrimination.
Three important bills, filed by Laramie Representative Cathy Connolly will be coming to committee next week: HB142 – Discrimination, Judiciary Committee – Tuesday January 25 at 7 AM, HB149 – Marriage – definition and HB150 – Civil Unions will be heard Friday January 28 at 7 AM in Capitol 302. I encourage all of you to call or email committee members and voice your support for these bills.