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Wyoming senators undecided on same-sex marriage protections

High-resolution portrait of Sen. John Barrasso
Senator John Barrasso

The Respect for Marriage Act would codify the right to same-sex marriage nationwide – but Wyoming's U.S. Senators have not decided whether they'll support it or not.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it returned decisions about the legality of abortion back over to the states. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should apply the same legal arguments to the 2015 case that made same-sex marriage a right nationwide.

So House Democrats – and some House Republicans – passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would ensure that same-sex marriage is legal in any state, regardless of any action the Supreme Court might take.

There were 157 Republicans who voted against the same-sex marriage protections bill, but Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and 46 other Republicans voted for it alongside every Democrat in the House.

The bill now heads to the Senate, but Wyoming's two senators won't say whether they'll support it.

Barrasso's office said he is waiting to read the text of the Senate version before making a decision. Lummis' office said she will make a decision once she has finished reviewing the legislation.

Neither office would answer follow-up questions about whether same-sex marriage should be protected.

The bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate, with some Republican groups already mobilizing against the act. It will need at least ten Republican votes to pass. So far, five have said they will support the effort.

Cheney's primary challenger, Harriet Hageman, dodged questions about the bill put to her repeatedly by a Casper Star-Tribune reporter.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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