Marriage Equality USA

Stay Informed

Current Status


  • Wyoming has prohibited same-sex marriage by statute since 1977 and it enacted a more explicit ban by statute in 2003.
  • There are no WY laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The state House rejected a bill banning such discrimination in 2011. In 2013, the state Senate rejected a similar bill.
  • In 2013, legislators filed a bill creating domestic partnerships to allow same-sex couples to "obtain the rights, responsibilities, protections and legal benefits provided in Wyoming for immediate family members." Governor Matt Mead said he favored domestic partnerships. The legislation was voted down by the House.
  • Laramie, Wyoming is where 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was beaten, tortured and brutally murdered on 12 October 1998. Prior to his murder, WY had no hate crimes law. In 1999, following Shepard's murder, hate crimes legislation was "hotly debated." Wyoming now has a hate crimes law.
  • NOTE: Shepard's murder brought national and international attention to hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels. In October 2009, the United States Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (aka the "Matthew Shepard Act" or "Shepard/Byrd Act"), and on 28 October 2009, President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law.
  • In 2009, Representative Cathy Connolly, became the first openly gay WY state legislator.
  • 6 October 2014, SCOTUS declined to take any of the 7 marriage equality cases from 5 states on appeal, including Utah's Kitchen. See page 39 of the order. Therefore, the 10th Circuit's June 25th ruling in Kitchen stood as valid and binding precedent was set for all other states in the 10th Circuit, including Wyoming. Marriage equality was legalized at the state level on 21 October 2014. See Guzzo v. Mead under LAWSUITS-RESOLVED below.