Boise, Idaho — A federal judge’s decision to allow same-sex marriages in Idaho starting Friday has attorneys for the state scrambling to appeal and gay rights advocates planning their next steps.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriages Tuesday, and on Wednesday she refused to put pending marriages on hold while Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden appeal.
Otter and Wasden both asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay while they fight the lower court’s ruling.
“My job now is to ensure our state’s voice is heard loud and clear on appeal, and that Idaho’s right to self-determination is not further undermined,” Otter said in a prepared statement.
Matrimonial law expert Seymour J. Reisman said the appellate court is likely to issue the stay, and the U.S. Supreme Court is almost certain to take up the matter.
But with several other states appealing rulings similar to the one handed down in Idaho, it’s anyone’s guess which state’s case the high court will consider, said Reisman, a partner in the New York law firm Reisman Peirez Reisman and Capobianco LLP.
“You can’t just have different states having different laws all over the place,” he said. “Nobody knows where they can live, what they can do.”
After the ruling, the Idaho Republican Party issued a statement reaffirming the organization’s stance against same-sex marriage, and contending that the Tenth Amendment gives states the power to regulate and define marriage.