Idaho Marriage Ruling Stayed, Appeal Expedited

A federal appeals court will hear the case the week of September 8, but same-sex couples won't be able to marry in Idaho until the appeal is completed.

BY Trudy Ring

May 20 2014 8:40 PM ET

A federal appeals court today ordered expedited review of last week’s ruling overturning Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, but at the same time put the ruling on hold until the appeal is completed.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted motions by Idaho’s governor and attorney general asking for a stay of the ruling during the appeals process, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is representing the couples in the case along with Boise attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham. The appeals court will hear the case the week of September 8.

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled May 13 that Idaho’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples violates the U.S. Constitution, and she ordered the state to allow these couples to marry and to recognize the marriages of those who had wed in other states. She refused to place a stay on her ruling, but the appeals court put a hold it last week while it considered the motion from state officials. Today’s action extends that hold.

The couples in the case are Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, and Lori and Sharene Watsen, who are legally married and asked Idaho to recognize their marriages, and Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer, and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson, who seek to marry.

“While Sharene and I are disappointed that the state won’t have to respect our marriage right away, we’re happy that the case is being fast-tracked,” Lori Watsen said in an NCLR press release. “We look forward to the day our home state treats our marriage equally and we have the same legal protections as other married couples in Idaho.”

Added NCLR legal director Shannon Minter: “We are very pleased that the court ordered expedited review and understood the critical importance and urgency of the issues in this case for Idaho’s same-sex couples and their children. We look forward to defending Judge Dale’s careful, thorough decision before the Ninth Circuit. As 13 federal district courts have now recognized, gay and lesbian people and their children are part of our communities and our nation, and basic principles of fairness and equality demand they be given the same legal protections and respect as other families.”

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