Gay Marriage Ban In Wyoming Declared Unconstitutional

wyoming-670x502A federal judge has declared Wyoming’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl released his verdict Friday, but granted a stay on clerks issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until October 23—or sooner if Governor Matt Mead or Attorney General Patrick Michael indicate they don’t plan on appealing.

Just hours prior, another federal judge ruled against Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage, but he refused to allow a stay.

Last Monday, the Supreme Court declined to review several cases granting marriage equality, including one from the 10th Circuit, which Wyoming belongs to.

Related: An Interactive Map Of Marriage Equality in the U.S.

Unlike other judges, who have spoken about the unfairness of marriage discrimination, Skavdahl made it clear he was only lifting the ban in WYoming because the appeals court in his circuit had already struck down bans in Utah and Idaho.

“It is not the desire or preference of this Court to, with the stroke of a pen, erase a State’s legislative enactments,” Skavdahl wrote. “Nonetheless, the binding precedent of [the 10th Circuit cases striking down other bans] mandate this result, and this Court will adhere to its Constitutional duties and abide by the rule of law.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery