Wyoming same-sex marriage case to go to trial

A Wyoming state judge declined Tuesday to either summarily rule on or suspend a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Laramie County District Court Judge Thomas Campbell ruled that a hearing will take place in November. Both sides of the case had argued that federal lawsuits have already resolved the question of same-sex marriage in Wyoming, or soon will.

“I think you all assume too much,” Campbell said.

Campbell said it’s not certain that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider gay marriage any time soon.

Four gay couples and gay-rights advocacy group Wyoming Equality sued Gov. Matt Mead, Laramie County Clerk Debbye Lathrop and other state and local officials in March, saying that by not being allowed to marry, they are denied basic rights and privileges afforded to straight couples, such as the ability to be included in a family health insurance plan.

An attorney for the state, Jared Crecelius, argued it would be more efficient for everybody if Campbell suspended the case pending the outcome of other gay-marriage lawsuits further ahead in line to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

If Campbell doesn’t suspend the case, Crecelius argued, he should give the state more time to collect evidence that could involve whether the plaintiffs have standing to sue.

Campbell granted that request, setting out a 90-day period for additional evidence collection.

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