U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl has struck down the state law banning gay marriage in Wyoming, but he put his ruling on hold until 5 p.m. Thursday or until all defendants have filed a notice that they will not appeal the order, whichever comes first.
Skavdahl’s order comes after a Thursday morning hearing in federal court in Casper. Plaintiffs in the case, called Guzzo v. Mead, asked Skavdahl to agree with the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which determined marriage is a fundamental right.
The plaintiffs, four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality, filed suit Oct. 7, a day after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear cases from five states wanting to ban same-sex marriage. Two of the states, Oklahoma and Utah, are in the 10th Circuit.
The 10th Circuit held that marriage bans violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael did not immediately return voice and email messages about whether he will appeal. The Star-Tribune also left a message with Gov. Matt Mead's staff. Mead is a defendant in the case.
“We’re thrilled the judge made the right call,” said James Lyman, attorney for the plaintiffs.
Lyman said he talked to the Laramie County Attorney’s Office minutes ago. The county attorney will not appeal, Lyman said.
The county was a defendant because some of the plaintiffs tried to receive marriage licenses from Laramie County Clerk Debra Lathrop.
Lyman said he has reached out to the Wyoming AG’s office and hasn’t heard back.
“I’m hopeful they’ll also agree not to appeal and folks can start to get their marriage licenses sooner than the end of next week.”
Wyoming is now the 32nd state to allow same-sex marriages, Lyman said.
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