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Idaho Gov. Butch Otter Confirms Same-Sex Marriage Will Start Tomorrow, Won't Comment On Potential Appeal

OtterIdaho Governor Butch Otter has announced that same-sex marriages will be allowed to begin tomorrow in the Gem State as planned. As BuzzFeed reports, Otter's office issued a statement that made sure to note the governor's continued belief in "traditional marriage":

“The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its mandate for enforcement of decisions overturning the Idaho Constitution’s prohibition on same-sex marriage effective at 10 a.m. MDT, 9 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, October 15. 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. But we are civil society that respects the rule of law. We have done all we can through the courts for now to defend traditional marriage in Idaho.”

However, Otter is unlikely to end his battle against marriage equality here. As to "whether Otter will seek further review of the ruling from the three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit, something lawyers for Otter have suggested in prior filings that he will do", a spokesman, referring to the statement issued today, said, “We are saying nothing more than that.”

Interestingly, Otter's entrenchment on the subject of same-sex marriage places him at odds with his state's attorney general, also a Republican, who believes the fight is essentially over:

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden had acknowledged on Monday in a court filing that the state would not be able to meet the standards for halting the marriages during any appeal. On Tuesday, Wasden’s spokesman, Todd Dvorak, told BuzzFeed News, “Attorney General [Wasden] currently has no plans for filing any legal challenge today or tomorrow.”


Same-Sex Marriages in Idaho to Begin Wednesday After Federal Appeals Court Lifts Stay

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will lift a stay of their ruling striking down Idaho's gay marriage ban despite the governor's request that it be kept in place, and same-sex marriages can begin Wednesday, the Idaho Statesman reports:

OtterAccording to court documents filed Monday, the court's decision comes after Idaho's attorney general dropped its opposition to the stay. Meanwhile, Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter maintained his resistance in a separate Monday court filing.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says his office, along with Ada County Clerk Christopher Rich and the state of Idaho, do not oppose lifting the stay. Wasden said that does not mean the state will not pursue further legal action.

Otter, however, repeated his prior arguments in Monday's filing, implying he will continue fighting gay marriage in Idaho.

Otter also added that approving gay marriage would "dissuade" Idaho voters from participating in elections because it would allow the federal government to overturn state laws.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from Otter to stay the 9th Circuit ruling.

Said Otter last Friday:

“The Supreme Court’s order lifting Justice Kennedy’s stay effectively allows same-sex marriage in Idaho as soon as the 9th Circuit directs compliance with its decision. I disagree with the court’s conclusion, which negates the 2006 vote of the people of Idaho, is contrary to the values of most Idahoans, and undermines fundamental states’ rights.  But we are a nation of laws. Idaho now should proceed with civility and in an orderly manner to comply with any forthcoming order from the 9th Circuit.”

Read Otter's October 13 response HERE.

Read Wasden's October 13 response HERE.


Supreme Court Lifts Stay on 9th Circuit Mandate Striking Down Idaho's Gay Marriage Ban

IdahoThe Supreme Court has lifted Idaho's stay on a 9th Circuit mandate striking down the state's gay marriage ban, USA Today reports:

The order allows a federal appeals court decision issued Tuesday to take effect in Idaho, just as it did in Nevada. Three other states without gay marriage -- Arizona, Montana and Alaska -- are impacted by the ruling, but state officials there have not yet capitulated.

Gay couples should be able to get married shortly. Stay tuned....

Update: Latah County has begun issuing marriage licenses to gay couples!

Update II: Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has just released the following statement:

“The Supreme Court’s order lifting Justice Kennedy’s stay effectively allows same-sex marriage in Idaho as soon as the 9th Circuit directs compliance with its decision. I disagree with the court’s conclusion, which negates the 2006 vote of the people of Idaho, is contrary to the values of most Idahoans, and undermines fundamental states’ rights.  But we are a nation of laws. Idaho now should proceed with civility and in an orderly manner to comply with any forthcoming order from the 9th Circuit.”


Gov. Butch Otter: 'Idaho Is Pro-Traditional Marriage and I'm Not Going to Do Anything to Put That In Danger' - VIDEO

OtterGubernatorial candidates in Idaho traded barbs over gay marriage and LGBT-inclusive discrimination protections during yesterday's debate - with Governor Butch Otter pledging to continue defending his state's 2006 voter approved amendment to the Idaho Constitution banning gay marriage.

Said Otter:

"In 2006, Idaho looked at it and said we are going to change our constitution. And they asked the people of Idaho and go to the polls and vote for a constitutional amendment, Article Three, Section Twenty-eight of the state constitution, to define legal marriage in Idaho, as a union between one man and one woman. And from that all of the detractors, and probably including the author of that question, that all of a sudden Idaho is anti-gay. That we are anti-something. We are not. Idaho is pro traditional marriage. And I am not going to do anything to put that in danger."

BalukoffOtter's Democratic challenger, A.J. Balukoff, criticized that position, saying the amendment was discriminatory:

"No matter how many of our citizens vote to pass the law, we cannot pass a law that violates the United States Constitution. This is about discrimination, treating all people with fairness and respect. Regardless of what our personal beliefs may be, we still need to treat them equally."

Libertarian candidate John Bujak, meanwhile, appeared to take the middle ground on the issue - saying that while he's personally opposed to gay marriage he recognizes those types of views don't hold up in court.

Watch a video of the gay marriage portion of the debate, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)  

Boise Weekly adds:

Balukoff and Otter also widened their differences on the debate over Add the Words, the effort to add the words "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to the Idaho Human Rights Act.

"The governor and the Idaho legislature represent ALL the people of Idaho," said Balukoff. "To stonewall this issue for eight years is not acceptable. We should grant a legislative hearing and strengthen the human rights act to add the four words."

AddthewordsOtter said he had met with Add the Words organizers on two occasions during the 2014 legislative session and had expected a legislative hearing to surface.

"That is, until their antics started up," said Otter, referring to the multiple arrests of Add the Words advocates at the Statehouse. "I can understand the angst of the legislature and their reluctance to take up the issue."

Otter said a hearing on the matter is expected during the next legislative session. 

On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit upheld a ruling striking down Idaho's gay marriage ban. The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily stayed the Idaho ruling, however. 

Continue reading "Gov. Butch Otter: 'Idaho Is Pro-Traditional Marriage and I'm Not Going to Do Anything to Put That In Danger' - VIDEO" »


Gay Marriage Proposal Of The Day: Senator Kelvin Atkinson And Sherwood Howard - VIDEO

Atkinson

Nevada state senator Kelvin Atkinson has proposed to his partner Sherwood Howard at a Freedom Nevada event celebrating the striking down of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports CNN.

Last year, Republican Atrkinson came out during a debate prior to a vote repealing a constitutional provision passed by voters in 2002 banning same-sex marriage

Atkinson said that his proposal “just came out...I proposed to him on stage in front of everyone.”

During his speech, Atkinson called Howard on to the stage to propose: 1007TheCenter12_t653

“Woody I know it has been six years. They haven’t always been great, but we have been great partners and as a lot of you know in a lot of my political work [you are] the one person that I trust the most, to be there with me, to be there for me, to be that confidant, to be my friend and my partner, so I’m saying it in front of everybody, will you marry me?’

The couple have been together for about 6 1/2 years and planned on getting married, but didn't want to do it in another state.

Despite the good news, yesterday we reported that same-sex marriage in Nevada is once again on hold after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order stating that his stay of the 9th Circuit's ruling only applies to Idaho.

Watch Atkinson's proposal, AFTER THE JUMP...

Don't miss our other recent gay wedding and proposal videos...

Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Kriss and Lauren-Joy [tlrd]

Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Matthew and TJ [tlrd]

Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Michael and Michael [tlrd]
Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Jason and Daniel [tlrd]
Gay Marriage Proposal of the Day: Lucas and David [tlrd]
Gay Wedding Video of the Day: Jonathan and Dwayne [tlrd]
Gay Marriage Flash Mob Proposal of the Day: Patrick and Mike [tlrd]

 

Continue reading "Gay Marriage Proposal Of The Day: Senator Kelvin Atkinson And Sherwood Howard - VIDEO" »


SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy Lifts Stay On Same-Sex Marriage In Nevada

Kennedy

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has issued a second order today ending his previously issued stay only as it applies to Nevada. The stay on the 9th Circuit's ruling will remain in effect for Idaho. BuzzFeed reports, "Justice Anthony Kennedy ended the stay as to the Nevada marriage case, likely clearing the path for same-sex couples to be able to marry there soon."

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