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Governor Butch Otter Wins Re-Election In Idaho, Vows Not To Back Down From Gay Marriage Fight: VIDEO

OTTER

Republican incumbent Butch Otter has been re-elected to Idaho's top office. Otter has been an outspoken opponent of marriage equality despite a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, a ruling that was upheld when the Supreme Court decided not to take up an appeal of the case. Now, re-invigorated by his victory, Otter has reiterated that he will not be backing down from his anti-equality stance. From KTVB:

The newly re-elected governor vowed not to back down in the fight against gay marriage. Otter said he did not believe any Idahoans purposefully discriminate against gays.

"We don't have anything against the gay lesbian society," he said. "But what we do believe in is traditional marriage. We believe in that to the degree that in 2006 we passed by an overwhelming majority a Constitutional amendment, and we don't change our Constitution on a whim."

Otter also defeated openly gay candidate Steve Pankey of the Constitution Party who was only able to muster 1% of the vote. 

Watch a video on Otter's victory, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Families Crash Bigoted Idaho Governor Butch Otter's Halloween Event: VIDEO

Halloween_idaho

A group of gay and lesbian families and allies from the "Add the Four Words" activist group went to the steps of the Idaho statehouse on Friday where Governor Butch Otter was having a "trick-or-treat" Halloween party  for constituents, ABC6 reports:

They carried treat bags that read "another Idaho family who supports A.J. Baulkoff governor."

They even posed for a picture with the governor and his wife, saying "Idaho's new family" before snapping the shot -- something many thought they would never have the chance to say.

"It was mixed emotions, but mostly I am just excited that as a family we could even have the thought to come down here,” said Ty Carson. “I've lived here, I'm a third generation Idahoan and I would have never thought that my family would be welcome at the capitol building. I was full of excitement. My heart was racing."

Otter has vowed to keep fighting the Ninth Circuit decision which overturned the state's gay marriage ban and said last week in debate that he's "not ready to surrender to a few folks in black robes." The governor has filed a long shot petition asking  for an en banc rehearing of the case by the full court.

Watch ABC6's report (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

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Idaho Governor Butch Otter Vows to Continue Wasting Taxpayer Money Fighting Gay Marriage

Marriage equality is already the law of the land in Idaho, thanks to the Ninth Circuit's mandate striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. But you wouldn't know that listening to Governor Butch Otter, who continues to treat the courtroom battle over gay marriage as a winnable campaign issue.

OtterAt a gubernatorial debate last night, Otter declared he's "not ready to surrender to a few folks in black robes," The Huffington Post reports:

When Idaho adopted a constitutional amendment in 2006 banning same-sex marriage, "those people were voting for a value that they had and they were expressing that," he said.

A.J. Balukoff, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, said Otter was fighting "a losing battle."

"At this point, the ship has sailed," Balukoff said. "You're not going to win that battle in federal court. You might as well start arguing about interracial marriage."

Last week, we reported Otter had filed a long-shot petition asking the full Ninth Circuit to re-hear the case challenging the state's gay marriage ban.

Curiously enough, the Associated Press adds Otter voiced support for extending non-discrimination protections to LGBT citizens should such a bill come to his desk. 

Although he voiced some reservations, Otter said he would sign legislation that would add the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to Idaho's Human Rights Act. Currently, same-sex couples may marry in Idaho but there is no legal protection if they are fired or kicked out of their homes.

Otter said there would be a hearing during the 2015 legislative session. However, it's ultimately up to state lawmakers to pass the bill.


Lewiston, Idaho Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance

IdahoThe city of Lewiston, Idaho has become the 9th city in the state to ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation based on sexual orientation, gender identity or familial status. As The Lewiston Tribune reports, the vote came last night and the ordinance passed 5-2. 

One of the two "no" votes came from Mayor Pro Tem R.J. Johnson who previously commented that the ordinance would infringe “on our basic civil liberties." Councilor Clinton Daniels cast the other "no vote", surprising few as he was equally as concerned as Johnson in the lead up to the vote about how the legislation could lead to jail time and fines for those refusing to serve LGBT customers:

"My strong belief in liberty compels me to oppose ordinances that do not respect private property, freedom of association, and voluntary contracts; even when the stated goal of such ordinances is something I support.

When you engage in commerce, whether it be for a personal sale or a commercial one, it is a form of a contract, and in a free society all contracts should be voluntary."


Idaho State Senator Steve Vick Proposes Banning All Marriage Licenses Now That Gays Can Marry - LISTEN

Following the 9th Circuit’s decision striking down Idaho’s constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, Idaho state Senator Steve Vick (R) is proposing a solution to what he sees is a gross governmental overreach, Right Wing Watch reports

Vick“If we’re not allowed to determine the standards for a marriage license, then maybe we should just not issue them.”  he explained to WorldNetDaily. “Another potential avenue that I’m exploring is just eliminating marriage licenses in Idaho.”

Vick went on to elaborate on his relatively extreme proposition, saying while he was only in the early stages of discussing it, he had found much interest at a number of local town halls.

Though Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced that he will comply with the 9th Circuit’s ruling earlier this month, he has made a point of stating that his office remains dedicated to the idea of traditional marriage. He has also filed a petitionn for the full 9th Circuit to re-hear the case challenging the state's gay marriage ban. 

“I continue to believe that the federal courts are mistaken in abandoning the sanctity of traditional marriage and in undermining the will of Idaho voters and each state’s right to define marriage,” he said in a statement. “We have done all we can through the courts for now to defend traditional marriage in Idaho.”

Sen. Vick echoed the Governor’s sentiment, but admitted that “these rulings will probably stand,” referring to the court’s refusal to hear appeals from other states in which judges dismissed constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions.

Listen to a clip of Idaho state senator Steve Vick’s interview with WorldNetDaily AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Eric Holder Announces Federal Government Will Recognize Gay Marriages in Six More States

Holder

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the federal government will recognize same-sex married couples in six additional states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Last week, Holder made a similar announcement regarding federal recognition of same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado. 

Via press release:

The Attorney General’s announcement means couples married in these states will now qualify for a range of federal benefits, including those administered by the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs.

“With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving of full equality for all Americans,” the Attorney General said. “We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex married couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law.”

In addition, the Attorney General also announced that the Department of Justice has determined it can legally recognize marriages performed in Indiana and Wisconsin this past June. These marriages were performed immediately after federal district courts ruled that those states’ bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, but subsequent developments created confusion about the status of those marriages. Based on the Attorney General’s announcement, however, those couples married during that period will now have their unions recognized by the federal government.


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