Wyoming's Gay Divorce War

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com February 16 2011 1:02 AM ET

A same-sex divorce case pending before the Wyoming supreme court has a group of lawmakers vying to get involved, while two measures simultaneously seek to prevent recognition of same-sex marriages performed outside the state.

Niobrara County district judge Keith Kautz ruled last year that he lacked the authority to divorce two women who were married in Canada. Kautz's ruling was appealed, and the state supreme court is preparing to decide on the matter. Now 13 lawmakers represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based Christian legal group that has fought against same-sex marriage in California, want to file papers in support of the ruling. The lawmakers argue that allowing the state to perform same-sex divorces opens the door to the state recognizing "plural marriages" — polygamy — "and other domestic unions found in foreign jurisdictions."

While long-standing Wyoming law specifies that marriage can exist only between one man and one woman, it also allows the state to recognize valid marriages performed elsewhere.

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