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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.


Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Says For-Profit Wedding Chapel Can Discriminate Against Gay Couples

Hitching post

The Coeur d'Alene, Idaho wedding chapel that has become the right-wing poster child for the clash between LGBT non-discrimination ordinances and anti-gay religious beliefs will now be permitted to turn away gay couples seeking marriage licenses, city officials announced today. 

Boise State Public Radio reports:

Initially, the city said its anti-discrimination law did apply to the Hitching Post, since it is a commercial business. Earlier this week, Coeur d'Alene city attorney Mike Gridley sent a letter to the Knapps’ attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom saying the Hitching Post would have to become a not-for-profit to be exempt.

But Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.

“After we've looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.

Court filings show the Hitching Post reorganized earlier this month as a “religious corporation.” In the paperwork, the owners describe their deeply held beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Joshua Block, attorney for ACLU's LGBT Project writes:

As Jeremy Hooper notes, before the reorganizing the chapel billed itself as a place for "wedding ceremonies of other faiths as well as civil weddings." Leave it to the gays getting equal marriage rights though to throw right-wing religious folks into a full-blown tizzy. 


Alliance Defending Freedom Claims Anti-gay Idaho Wedding Chapel Never Sought Non-Profit Status - VIDEO

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Anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has posted a response to a letter from the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho relating to the litigation group's discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a local wedding chapel, reports Joe My God.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp, the owners of Hitching Post, a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, claim in the lawsuit that the city's ordinance prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages.

Back in May, the Knapps said that they would rather close their doors than perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The letter sent by the city to ADF on October 20th makes it clear that, although the Knapps registered their business as a religious corporation early this month, “based on the facts and their corporate status at the time [the couple refused to perform a same-sex wedding],” Hitching Post comes under the city’s non-discrimination order.

However, ADF has posted a response on its website backtracking on claims that Hitching Post has in fact been registered as a non-profit religious organization.  ADF has attacked the city’s “disingenuous waffling” and is now arguing that the Coeur d’Alene intends to “prosecute a for-profit business.”

Knapps“The city has said explicitly, repeatedly, and publicly that it would prosecute a for-profit business. That’s what the Hitching Post is, and it has never claimed to be anything other than that.

"While the Knapps do operate a ministry, they charge a fee for the ceremonies in order to be able to make a modest living. Therefore, the city, in its letter and elsewhere, is admitting that it would prosecute these pastors, who are clearly under a present threat of being sent to jail, fined, or both.

"The city has had months to figure out its own ordinance, and our clients have years of incarceration and devastating fines hanging over their heads. The city’s disingenuous waffling is indefensible.”

Earlier this month, the ADF began lobbying Slovakia's constitutional court to allow activists to place a referendum on the country's ballot that would reinforce the current bans on gay marriage, adoption, and domestic partner protections. The ADF's efforts in promoting bigotry abroad were profiled in Human Rights Campaign's "Export of Hate" report last month.

Watch an ABC report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Lesbian Veteran from Idaho Can Now Be Buried Next to Her Wife: VIDEO

Madelynn_taylor

Madelynn Taylor, a 74-year-old U.S. Navy veteran from Boise who has been battling for the right to be buried beside her late wife Jean Mixner in the Idaho Veterans Cemetery, has won her fight, NCLR reports:

Idaho officials agreed to Taylor’s request following the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ (NCLR) recent victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which found that Idaho’s ban on marriage equality violated the U.S. Constitution. The court ordered marriages to begin on October 15, 2014, and directed the state to recognize the marriages of couples who married in other states.

Taylor served in the Navy from 1958 to 1964. In late 2013, Idaho officials denied Taylor’s request to be buried in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery together with her late wife, citing Idaho’s laws prohibiting marriage by same-sex couples. NCLR and Boise attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham of Ferguson Durham PLLC filed a lawsuit on Taylor’s behalf, challenging the exclusion as a violation of the due process and equal protection guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.

“Words can’t describe how incredibly grateful I am for all the work that went into making our wishes possible,” said Taylor. “Idaho is where some of our best memories together are and it’s where I want to spend eternity with Jean.”

Said Ferguson: “Lee deserves credit for shining a powerful light on the injustice and indignity caused by Idaho’s former exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Her persistence, visibility, and refusal to accept inequality are a model for us all.”

Taylor's story, as you may recall, inspired a fellow veteran named Barry Johnson to offer his burial plot to her when he heard of the disgusting discrimination and injustice she faced.

Watch a video on Taylor's battle, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Idaho Governor Says He'll File for Full 9th Circuit to Re-Hear Case Challenging Gay Marriage Ban

Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced today that he will file a petition for the full 9th Circuit Court to re-hear the case challenging the state's gay marriage ban. A three -judge panel of the 9th Circuit struck down the ban on October 7.

OtterSaid Otter's office in a news release:

The Governor said the three-judge panel made some critical errors in its decision, among them failing to apply the correct legal standard to Idaho’s marriage laws. The “en banc” review by 11 judges from the 9th Circuit would enable the State of Idaho to make its case to a larger and more diverse group of jurists.

“One of the key arguments against the Idaho Constitution’s defense of traditional marriage has been that redefining it to include same-sex couples would not harm anyone.  But the Hitching Post example shows the fallacy of that position,” Governor Otter said.

A lawsuit filed in federal court last Friday on behalf of Don and Lynn Knapp, ordained ministers and owners of the Hitching Post wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, alleges the couple’s constitutional right to religious freedom would be violated by their city’s 2013 antidiscrimination ordinance if they are compelled to officiate over such ceremonies. The city contends it will not prosecute legitimate nonprofit religious organizations exercising their First Amendment rights.

Added Otter:

“I have repeatedly pointed out to the courts that unaccountable judges imposing their perception of social change on the law – rather than public policy being changed through the democratic process – undoubtedly will lead to increased religious strife and restrictions on private property. For these important reasons, I will continue defending Idahoans’ self-determination and the will of Idaho voters who decided that traditional marriage is a core principle of our society.”

Otter also said in his request that allowing the three-judge panel's decision to stand will violate First Amendment freedom of religion laws. He added that he continues to monitor opportunity for the case to be taken by the U.S. Supreme Court.


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