Idaho Couples Sue for Marriage Equality

Four couples say Idaho's ban violates their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

BY Trudy Ring

November 08 2013 3:34 PM ET

In a week marked by marriage equality advances, there’s now news out of Idaho, where four same-sex couples today filed a federal lawsuit in Boise seeking the right to marry.

The four couples, all from Boise, argue that the state’s constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process, according to a press release from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is representing the couples along with Boise attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham.

The couples are Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori and Sharene Watsen, Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer, and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson.

“Sharene and I were legally married in New York and had a wedding celebration here in Boise with more than 200 supportive family members and friends,” said Lori Watsen, a social worker, in the NCLR release. “But the State of Idaho treats us as if our legal marriage never happened. We are two dedicated, loving parents who have made work and other life changes to be able to provide our son a loving, safe home, but Idaho does not recognize me as his legal parent, so I have no official status in his life. We have been forced to go through special legal steps and incur costs to protect our family as much as possible, but those measures cannot replace all of the protections that are given to married couples.”

The suit comes three days after the Illinois state legislature approved a marriage equality law, which the governor will sign November 20 and will go into effect in June, and as Hawaii is on the verge of passing marriage equality legislation.

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