National Center for Lesbian Rights

Cases & Advocacy

Courage v. Wyoming

Status: Closed

Outcome: Victory

Location: Wyoming

On March 5, 2014, four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality filed a lawsuit in state court in Cheyenne challenging Wyoming’s laws that prohibited same-sex couples from marrying and refused to respect the legal marriages of same-sex couples who married in other states.

The couples included a university professor, a Major in the Army Reserve, a sheepherder, and an attorney. Many of the Plaintiffs were born and raised in Wyoming. The lawsuit challenged Wyoming’s statute barring same-sex couples from marrying and the state’s refusal to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who married in other states, arguing that they violated the Wyoming Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The couples were Cora Courage and Wyoma “Nonie” Proffit of Evanston, Carl Oleson and Rob Johnston of Casper, Anne Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson of Laramie, and Ivan Williams and Chuck Killion of Cheyenne. Wyoming Equality is the state’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Wyoming’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Its members include same-sex couples throughout the state.

The four couples and Wyoming Equality were represented by Cheyenne attorney Tracy Zubrod, the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP, the law firm of Rathod Mohamedbahi LLC, and NCLR.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in NCLR’s Tennessee marriage case and cases from three other states affirming the freedom to marry in ever state and U.S. territory.

Supreme Court Rules on Title VII! Give now & Celebrate!