Idaho’s First Same Sex Marriages Set For Friday, Courts Could Issue A Stay

May 15, 2014

Idaho’s first same sex marriages could take place this week. Tuesday a federal judge in Boise ruled that Idaho’s 2006 gay marriage ban is unconstitutional and scheduled the ruling to go into effect Friday. Wednesday the same judge denied a request from Governor Butch Otter’s lawyers to stay the order. They are now asking the 9th Circuit Court to issue a stay while appeals are made. University of Idaho law professor Shaakirrah Sanders says it’s unclear if that will happen. She says when Utah was in this same situation a few months ago the appeals court denied a stay but the Supreme Court granted it. Sanders says that Supreme Court decision could be very persuasive to the 9th circuit judges.

Sanders: “However, the 9th circuit is one of the few circuits that have ruled that sexual orientation is a protected status. So that may be enough for the 9th circuit to say they have to rule that the marriage ban is unconstitutional.”

If the 9th Circuit does deny the stay, the Supreme Court could act fast enough to issue one before Friday. But Idaho could also see a repeat of what happened in Utah. Several couples were married before the Supreme Court stepped in. Their legal status is now unclear while the court considers appeals.

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