Idaho Professor Believes State’s Anti-Gay Marriage Laws Could Easily Be Overturned, Cites Ohio And Utah

DavidAdlerIn an opinion piece for the Idaho Statesmen, Boise State University public affairs professor David Adler (right) stressed the precedent-setting Utah and Ohio decisions regarding same-sex marriage as indications that Idaho's own anti-gay marriage laws could easily be struck down. The two cases marked the first time federal judges ruled on the same-sex marriage laws of specific states after the take-down of DOMA, and they are indicative of the growing de-legitimization of laws barring marriage, or its recognition in other states. If Adler's predictions are accurate, Idaho, which recently had a lawsuit filed in the federal court, could see gay marriage legalized sooner than expected. 

The Idaho Statesmen reports:

Judge Robert J. Shelby’s decision in the Utah case, which has a direct bearing on the Idaho Constitution, was significant to the national drive for same-sex marriage. It represents the first time a federal court has ruled on the constitutionality of state bans on gay marriage since the Supreme Court struck down DOMA. Judge Shelby held that state laws barring same-sex marriage violate the due process clause and the equal protection guarantees of the 14th Amendment.

The opinion in the Ohio case, delivered by Judge Timothy Black, is precedent-setting and speaks to Idaho law. While the ruling applies only to death certificates, Judge Black’s determination that “once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away,” represents a stark challenge to Idaho’s refusal to recognize the lawful marriages of same-sex couples in other states.

Utah and Ohio will appeal these rulings, but their legal rationales for banning gay marriage, like Idaho’s, have lost their force in light of the landmark opinion in Windsor. Idaho’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and its refusal to respect existing marriages undermines same-sex couples’ ability to pursue their goals and dreams, disadvantages them financially and denies what Kennedy called the “dignity and status of immense import.” 

Adler believes that Idaho's laws will not survive any scrutiny because they only serve to limit the rights of a minority and set them apart from the rest of the general public (rather than aiding any kind of governmental interest).


  1. NE1 says

    Yes Please OHIO!! I’m thrilled for other states but it’s so frustrating seeing Ohio do absolutely nothing despite the fact that we voted Obama twice.

  2. Francis says

    Well, Idaho is also a red state. Also, latest polling in Ohio has marriage equality opposition at one point ahead of support, meaning Ohio probably is not ready to pass a marriage law.

    All that means is that it’s the courts where we’re turning to now and it’s the courts where we’re going to win most of these states.

  3. Rob says

    And Francis is right. The courts aren’t going to put up with marriage inequality any longer. Maybe if there were overwhelming public opposition to marriage equality, they would consider it, but not now. And it’s how it should have been all along. Allowing the majority to vote on rights for a minority is crazy- it’s up to the judiciary in the first place.

    As Anna Quindlen famously said when the tide shifted, “It’s over. Love won.”

  4. Rob says

    I’m just worried that it will end for Brian Brown all on the same day. I want to keep seeing him run from state to state and lose. It makes me wish there were more states.

  5. says

    Since the US Constitution applies equally in every state it is completely irrelevant whether a given state is infested with Republicans or not.

    Laws that set aside an historically persecuted minority to deny only them certain legal rights available to the majority are clearly and undeniably unconstitutional. These laws will definitely fall in every state.

    Bigotry and intolerance are just not getting as much respect as Christians would like.

  6. Steve says

    Professor Adler has beautiful eyes. It’s wonderful that they see the failure of Idaho’s law prohibiting marriage for gays and lesbians.

    It looks like “Straights Only” laws are going the way of “Whites Only.”