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Plaintiffs in Idaho gay marriage challenge ask court to declare ban unconstitutional

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
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BOISE, Idaho — Four same-sex couples who are challenging Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, filed a motion in the case Tuesday seeking a summary judgement asking the court to declare unconstitutional the state’s refusal to permit same-sex couples to marry or to recognize their existing marriages.

Idaho gay marriage

Todd Dvorak, AP
Amber Beierle, left, and Rachael Robertson are two of the plaintiffs in Latta v. Otter, a federal challenge to Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.

In their request, the couples argue that Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, approved by voters in 2006, cannot stand in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last June that the federal government’s discrimination against married same-sex couples violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

The couples’ papers note that every federal court to consider the issue since last summer’s Supreme Court decision has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. This includes federal courts in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Virginia.

The couples, represented by two local attorneys and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, filed suit on Nov. 8, 2013, in U.S. District Court in Boise.

On Jan. 9, 2014, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden filed a motion seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, acting as a representative of Ada County Clerk Chris Rich, who is named as a defendant along with Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter.

The court has not yet ruled on that motion, but on Jan. 22, 2014, U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale said Wasden could intervene in the lawsuit even though Otter is already a party in the case, as he was in a better position to assert the state’s defense.

The plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgement is scheduled to be heard by Dale on May 5, 2014 in Boise.

Follow the case at Latta v. Otter.

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