- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

WORLAND, Wyo. (AP) - Sixteen Wyoming legislators have weighed in on a pending U.S. Supreme Court case arguing that states should have the right to refuse to allow same-sex couples to get married.

The Northern Wyoming Daily News (https://www.wyodaily.com ) reports that the 16 Republican Wyoming lawmakers filed a friend of the court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court early this month.

The lawmakers are Rep. Jim Blackburn, R-Cheyenne; Rep. Scott Clem, R-Gillette; Rep. Harlan Edmonds, R-Cheyenne; Rep. Roy Edwards, R-Gillette; Rep. Gerald Gay, R-Casper; Rep. Marti Halverson, R-Etna; Rep. Allen Jaggi, R-Lyman; Rep. Mark Jennings, R-Sheridan; Rep. Kendell Kroeker, R-Evansville; Rep. Bunky Loucks, R-Casper; Rep. Robert McKim, R-Afton; Sen. Curt Meier, R-LaGrange; Rep. Garry Piiparinen, R-Evanston; Rep. Tom Reeder, R-Casper; Rep. Cheri Steinmetz, R-Lingle; and Rep. Nathan Winters, R-Thermopolis.

The Wyoming lawmakers argue that forcing the state to accept same-sex marriage would violate citizens’ freedom of speech. Their brief is one of scores that have been filed with the court on both sides of the issue. The court is scheduled to hear arguments next week.

A federal judge in Wyoming last year overturned the state’s legal prohibition on same-sex marriage following a federal appeals court ruling on cases from neighboring states.

Steinmetz is the lead person in filing the Wyoming lawmakers’ brief.

“As a representative of the people, I want to ensure that Wyoming has a voice in one of the most important court cases in history,” she stated in a release. “This issue before us today is not whether same-sex marriage is right or wrong. It is an issue of state authority over marriage and the ability of the citizens of Wyoming to self-govern.”

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Information from: Northern Wyoming Daily News, https://www.wyodaily.com

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