The State of Wyoming has just announced it will not appeal last week's federal district court ruling, and same-sex couples can begin marrying Tuesday.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl struck down Wyoming's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. Because the judge placed a stay on his ruling pending appeal, couples did not immediately begin filing for licenses. Late Friday, Republican Wyoming Governor Matt Mead notified the court he would not appeal the ruling.
Today, the court removed its stay and tomorrow morning same-sex couples can begin marrying.
"Judge Skavdahl's opinion and order make clear that the decisions in Utah and Oklahoma have left Wyoming with few legal options," said Attorney General Peter K. Michael, KGWN reports. "After reviewing the law and the Judge's decision that binding precedent requires recognition of samesex [sic] marriage, I have concluded that further legal process will result in delay but not a different result."
"We are thrilled that the State of Wyoming will truly live up to its promise as the Equality State and that same-sex couples and their families will no longer live with the indignity of injustice that has caused so much harm to so many people over the years, Wyoming Equality Executive Director Jeran Artery said in a statement. "This is a great day, and we are grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make it possible."
National Center for Lesbian Rights Senior Attorney Christopher F. Stoll also weighed in.
"Starting tomorrow, all Wyoming families will finally be able to share in the security and protection that marriage provides," Stoll added. "Wyoming's same-sex couples will benefit in countless ways from having their relationships recognized and respected by the state, and their children will have the security of growing up with parents who are married. We thank the Wyoming couples who courageously stood up to bring this case so that all Wyoming families can enjoy the freedom to marry."
Freedom to Marry notes Judge Skavdahl's "ruling strikes down Wyoming's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. It comes just over two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the freedom to marry to take effect immediately in 5 different states and cleared the way for marriage in an additional 6, including Wyoming."
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