Rachel Maddow: Equality State Lives Up to Its Name

MSNBC news host Rachel Maddow sums up in eight minutes what took Wyoming state legislators and hundreds of LBGT activists and allies the last two months to accomplish by the narrowest of margins: turning back a ban on recognition of same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.

Wyoming, like most states, does not allow same-sex couples to legally marry within its borders. But like only a few other states, Wyoming does recognize all legally valid marriages performed elsewhere — including, at least according to the letter of the law, same-sex couples who marry in one of the several states where that is now legal, and then end up moving to, or visiting, Wyoming.

Opponents of same-sex marriage in Wyoming have tried for more than 10 years to repeal the 1870s territorial statute that extends marriage recognition to all legal marriages from elsewhere. On March 2, the latest such effort again failed, when only 14 of Wyoming’s 30 state senators voted to approve a House-Senate compromise at the end of the legislative process.

Matthew Shepard Foundation Executive Director Jason Marsden testified before both House and Senate committees this winter against the legislation as part of an unprecedented outpouring of citizen activism spearheaded by Wyoming Equality, the Equality State Policy Center and countless grassroots volunteers.

View the Rachel Maddow show’s coverage here.