Idaho Latest State to Lose Same-Sex Marriage Case

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 08:51 PM

 

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Idaho's same-sex marriage ban was struck down by a federal judge in a ruling declaring the law unconstitutional.

Same-sex marriage has been deemed lawful in 22 other states plus the District of Columbia, though court stays in several of those states are in place while appeals are pursued.

A wave of litigation challenging state same-sex marriage bans was unleashed by a
Supreme Court decision in June striking down a measure that limited federal recognition to marriages between a man and a woman.

"A state's broad authority to regulate matters of state concern does not include the power to violate an individual's protected constitutional rights," U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale in Boise said in Tuesday's ruling. "Idaho's marriage laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental right to marry and relegate their families to a stigmatized, second-class status without sufficient reason for doing so. These laws do not withstand any applicable level of constitutional scrutiny."

Tuesday's ruling, just four days after an Arkansas judge declared that state's bar to same-sex marriage invalid, is the 12th consecutive victory for proponents of gay weddings since September in state and federal courts.

A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., Tuesday heard arguments over whether to revive that state's ban, which was struck down in February. The Virginia case is the third to reach a federal appeals court since the Supreme Court's ruling in June. One or more of those cases may return the issue to the Supreme Court, which stopped short of declaring a right to gay marriage.

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