Gov Fields Media Questions [AUDIO]
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead held a regular press conference on Wednesday afternoon. The governor said his office was working on appointments to key posts in his administration and the announcements would be forthcoming.
Answering a variety of questions about legislation, Mead joked about his own right to hunt being frustrated by his busy schedule, referring to a proposed amendment to the Wyoming Constitution that would guarantee the right to hunt.
Too busy to exercise right to hunt:
"The right to hunt, I've been a little frustrated with because I've been so busy I haven't had a right to hunt. That's a joke. (Laughter.) I will continue to identify jokes. (Laughter.) ... While I agree that people should have a right to hunt in Wyoming, I don't know what wrong we're necessarily trying to address. I'm not sure what the problem is that people view that as something being challenged."
Gov. Mead was also asked if defining marriage was a civil rights issue.
Defining marriage, civil rights:
"Depending upon your point of view, marriage is nothing more than a contract or marriage is beyond a contract and brings in traditions and history. And I will just tell you what my view is. I think marriage should be defined between one man and one woman. And having said that, I am interested what the parallel track is, so for those who want to have a civil union, something more formal that is legally recognized by our courts to the extent that they would not have access to the courts, I think it is a civil rights issue because our Constitution and the federal Constitution guarantees equal access to the courts."
The governor said the state needs to be mindful of the distinction between the courts and the Legislature. Courts shouldn't legislate, and legislation must adhere to established law. Mead did say the issue of defining marriage is important enough to bring it to Wyoming voters with a constitutional amendment.
When asked about the federal health care law, Gov. Mead said that Wyoming citizens have to recognize that it is the current law, and that its merit, or lack of merit, should be redressed in the courts.
Place to challenge health care reform:
"I don't think what we want to do, despite however much some of us dislike the Affordable Care Act, we don't want to put our citizens in a position by what we've said and passed here in this session, in a position where they think they are not required to follow federal law. And the courts, in my mind, are the appropriate place to challenge that."