(Casper, WY, October 20, 2014)—Today, the State of Wyoming announced that it will file a notice stating that it will not appeal a U.S. District Court ruling that found the state’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. As a result, same-sex couples can begin marrying at 10 am MT tomorrow.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming granted an order sought by four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality that the state immediately lift its marriage equality ban and begin allowing same-sex couples to marry. Citing two decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit striking down Utah’s and Oklahoma’s bans on marriage for same-sex couples, Judge Skavdahl ruled that Wyoming’s refusal to permit same-sex couples to marry violates the U.S Constitution.
Judge Skavdahl ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses, but placed that order temporarily on hold to permit Wyoming state officials to respond. Today, the state officials announced that they will file a notice at 10 am MT tomorrow, stating that they will not appeal the ruling and allowing marriages to begin.
The plaintiffs are Anne Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson of Laramie, Carl Oleson and Rob Johnston of Casper, Ivan Williams and Chuck Killion of Cheyenne, and Brie Barth and Shelly Montgomery of Carpenter, and Wyoming Equality, the statewide organization dedicated to securing full equality for Wyoming’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. They are represented by Cheyenne attorney Tracy Zubrod, the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP, the law firm of Rathod Mohamedbahi LLC, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
Said Wyoming Equality Executive Director Jeran Artery: “We are thrilled that the State of Wyoming will truly live up to its promise as the Equality State and that same-sex couples and their families will no longer live with the indignity of injustice that has caused so much harm to so many people over the years. This is a great day, and we are grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make it possible.”
Said NCLR Senior Attorney Christopher F. Stoll: “Starting tomorrow, all Wyoming families will finally be able to share in the security and protection that marriage provides. Wyoming’s same-sex couples will benefit in countless ways from having their relationships recognized and respected by the state, and their children will have the security of growing up with parents who are married. We thank the Wyoming couples who courageously stood up to bring this case so that all Wyoming families can enjoy the freedom to marry.”