Parental Rights in Wyoming
Resolution Supporting the PRA
We did it! Thanks in part to your support, in 2012, the Wyoming legislature adopted a resolution (HJR 3) calling on the U.S. Congress to propose the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to pass it to the States for ratification. (The resolution was adopted with special dispensation during the budget session; since it wasn't related to the budget, a 2/3 vote was required to even allow it to be heard and assigned to a committee.) (Learn more about state resolutions.)
Wyoming Parental Rights News
Wyoming State Law and Parental Rights
- 2017: HB0153, a Parental Rights bill like HB0094 from 2015, was introduced in the House on January 16, 2017. It was sent to the House Minerals, Business, and Economic Development Committee, and passed out of that committee with a 9-0 vote on January 23, 2017. (See "Wyoming Parental Rights Bill Clears Committee" for details.) On Friday, January 27, the Wyoming bill passed the House by a vote of 50 yes, 7 no, and 3 excused. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (3-1, with 1 excused), and then passed the Wyoming Senate (25-5) on February 28. It was later signed into law by the governor and will take effect on July 1, 2017. Thank you for your support in helping pass this bill!
- 2015: HB0094 was introduced January 13 to preserve by law the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children. It passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 9-0 on Jan. 24, and the full House by a vote of 59-1 on Jan. 29. It was sent to the Senate the next business day (Feb. 2), but Senate President Phil Nicholas refused to assign it a committee, single-handedly killing the bill.
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Wyoming Courts and Parental Rights
Protected Under Statute
Wyoming courts have also affirmed parental rights as fundamental, although have not mentioned strict scrutiny.
DJM v. DM (In re SRB-M), 201 P.3d 1115, 1119 (Wyo. 2009):
"[¶18] Our holding in MEO was based in part on the important constitutional principle that a parent has a fundamental right to care for, educate and associate with his or her child. In re MLM, 682 P.2d 982, 990 (Wyo. 1984). The fundamental right of a parent to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of his or her children is also recognized by the United States Supreme Court. Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 120 S.Ct. 2054, 147 L.Ed.2d 49 (2000). Given this fundamental right, this Court has not condoned removal of a child from a fit parent. MEO, ¶ 53, 138 P.3d at 1160. 'Although we have sometimes described the child's best interests as having ‘constitutional preeminence,' we have done so in light of an adjudication of neglect or abuse, elevating the child's interests above the individual claims of the parent.' Id."