Wyoming same-sex marriage ban challenged

[JURIST] A gay couple has filed suit [Justia docket] in the US District Court for the District of Wyoming [official website] challenging the state's law defining marriage [20-1-101 text] as only existing between a man and a woman. The suit was filed earlier this month by David Shupe-Roderick and Ryan W. Dupree of Cheyenne after they were denied a marriage license from the office of the Laramie County Clerk [official website]. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against the enforcement of any law that denies same-sex couples the right to civil marriage. The district attorney has yet to comment on the suit. The plaintiffs will serve as their own legal representatives [AP report].

Earlier this month, a judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that California's ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] violates the US Constitution [text]. Judge Vaughn Walker held that the ban, known as Proposition 8 [text; JURIST news archive], violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause [Cornell LII backgrounders] of the Fourteenth Amendment. The State of California, which was an original defendant to the suit, has decided not appeal the decision leaving defendant-intervenors Protect Marriage [advocacy website] and other groups to defend the law. Last week, the Ninth Circuit issued an emergency stay [JURIST report] on Walker's ruling while the court considers the issues raised on appeal as well as whether the remaining parties to the suit have Article III standing to appeal. The court of appeals is scheduled to begin hearing oral arguments in the case in December.

 

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