Wyoming Republican Party leadership on Thursday denounced U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis’ vote to hear a bill codifying same-sex marriage access nationwide.
“Yesterday’s vote on the ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ sadly saw our own Senator Lummis vote aye,” wrote the state GOP in a mass email Thursday afternoon.
“This act threatens religious liberties and is opposed to the Wyoming Republican Party Platform which was ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY at the May 2022 Republican State Convention by more than 400 delegates from across the state,” it said.
The email says that the approved party platform “guides good policy decisions.” The message also encourages recipients to reach out to the state’s federal delegates to emphasize the platform’s importance. It includes contact information for the delegation.
“Marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman,” the platform states, adding that the party should “keep in mind the Judeo-Christian principles of the Founding Fathers” when they wrote the Constitution, and their belief that “good moral behavior and the development of character… helps secure the other fundamental bases of our national citizenship.”
The email was not signed. Frank Eathorne chairs the Wyoming Republican Party.
Wyoming Equality, an LGBTQ advocate in Wyoming, conversely, implored people to encourage and support Lummis in her decision.
“We believe that Senator Lummis may cast an essential vote for this bill to pass in the next two days, but she is currently receiving overwhelming negative responses from Wyoming,” the post stated.
“We cannot emphasize enough how important it is that Wyomingites reach out to Senator Lummis today. Again, it is essential that these messages be positive,” it said.
The New York Times reports that a vote in the Senate on the bill is expected after Thanksgiving.
Gay Marriage Access
Lummis, Wyoming’s junior U.S. Senator and a Republican, voted Wednesday to entertain a vote on the Respect for Marriage Act, which would ensure same-sex marriage legality across the nation. Her “aye” shows early approval of the bill, but is not the official vote on its merits.
Wyoming law does not officially recognize same-sex unions as legal marriage, but the state has been allowing gay marriages since 2014, due to a federal court precedent handed down that year.
Although not directly overturned, court precedents legalizing the practice were called into question with the overturn of Roe Vs. Wade this summer, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said the case shifts credence away from presumed rights not enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.
Lummis said she sees her approval as upholding the Wyoming Constitution’s promise of equality.
She said she also favors provisions in the bill ensuring religious liberties.
The bill carves out provisions so that Christians and other people of faith cannot be forced to perform gay marital ceremonies, Lummis said.
Senior Says No
Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming’s senior delegate to the Senate, voted against entertaining the bill.
“Sen. Barrasso believes that marriage is between a man and a woman,” a spokeswoman for Barrasso told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday morning. “That’s the way he voted in the Wyoming state Senate and that’s where he stands today.”