Idaho couples ask U.S. Supreme Court to lift stay, allow same-sex marriages

After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho's gay marriage ban, the attorneys and plaintiffs in Idaho's case gathered for a news conference in front of the James A McClure Federal Building and United States Courthouse on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 in Boise, Idaho. In front are attorneys Deborah Ferguson and Craig Durham, and from left to right behind them are three of the four couples in the case: Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Sharene and Lori Watsen and Rachael and Amber Beierle. Otto Kitsinger, AP

After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho's gay marriage ban, the attorneys and plaintiffs in Idaho's case gathered for a news conference in front of the James A McClure Federal Building and United States Courthouse on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 in Boise, Idaho. In front are attorneys Deborah Ferguson and Craig Durham, and from left to right behind them are three of the four couples in the case: Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Sharene and Lori Watsen and Rachael and Amber Beierle. Otto Kitsinger, AP

After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho‘s gay marriage ban, the attorneys and plaintiffs in Idaho’s case gathered for a news conference in front of the James A McClure Federal Building and United States Courthouse on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 in Boise, Idaho. In front are attorneys Deborah Ferguson and Craig Durham, and from left to right behind them are three of the four couples in the case: Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Sharene and Lori Watsen and Rachael and Amber Beierle.

BOISE, Idaho — Four Idaho couples who sued over the state’s gay marriage ban are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriages to begin in accordance with a lower court’s ruling earlier this week.

Attorneys for the couples filed the opposition to an emergency stay with the high court Thursday afternoon.

In the document, they said that there was no reason for the Supreme Court to consider the matter because it already ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriages in similar cases involving five other states.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco declared same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada illegal on Tuesday.

Hours later, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay putting the lower court’s ruling on hold.

On Wednesday morning, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy temporarily stayed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in response to a request by State of Idaho officials to keep that decision from taking effect while the state officials either ask for further review of the case by a larger panel of Ninth Circuit judges or ask the Supreme Court to review the case.

Kennedy instructed the plaintiff couples in the case to respond to the state officials’ request by 5 p.m. ET Thursday.

In opposing the stay, the couples emphasized that “same-sex couples in Idaho will face concrete, grievous, ongoing harm” if the Ninth Circuit’s decision is placed on hold, noting that Idaho officials “point to nothing that would justify issuance of a stay in this case” only days after the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals in similar case where same-sex marriage bans were struck down.

“There is no relevant difference between this case and those that would warrant any different outcome here,” the couples said in their filing.

The couples are represented in part by the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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