Idaho Hub

Gov. Butch Otter Asks SCOTUS to Delay Marriage Consideration Until It Hears from Idaho

Idaho Governor Butch Otter filed an amicus brief today asking the U.S. Supreme Court to delay consideration of same-sex marriage until it hears from Idaho as he believes the case would be the "best vehicle" by which the Court could resolve “the marriage-litigation wave in all respects," the Spokesman-Review reports:

OtterOtter lists several reasons why he thinks Idaho’s case is the “best vehicle” for the whole same-sex marriage issue to be decided. Among them: Idaho’s includes both the question of in-state marriages and recognition of out-of-state marriages; it would test the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ application of a heightened standard of scrutiny for discrimination based on sexual orientation; it brings up religious liberty issues; and Idaho officials, unlike those in many states, have mounted a vigorous defense of their ban on gay marriage.

Otter’s legal brief cites “the enormous societal risks accompanying a genderless-marriage regime,” and says, “Common sense and a wealth of social-science data teach that children do best emotionally, socially, intellectually and economically when reared in an intact home by both biological parents.”

Attorneys Gene Schaerr and Tom Perry, lawyers for Otter, filed the brief in five marriage cases before the Supreme Court challenging rulings by the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit (Idaho is in the Ninth Circuit).

SupremesSCOTUSblog's Lyle Denniston explains:

It was in that form because Idaho has not formally appealed to the Justices, while it awaits the rehearing plea it has pending at the Ninth Circuit.


As of now, the Court has five pending cases on the same-sex marriage issue.  Four are petitions challenging a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, upholding marriage bans in four states (Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky).  The fifth case is from Louisiana, seeking review of a federal judge’s ruling upholding a ban in that state.

The Louisiana case is now scheduled for the Justices’ first look at the next Conference, on January 9, according to a scheduling note Wednesday on the Court’s electronic docket.  That docket also indicated that the four petitions from the Sixth Circuit are being handled as a group, although they have not yet been distributed to the Justices.  There is one more date on which the cases could be sent to the Justices for consideration on January 9: next Tuesday.

Otter wants the Court to wait for Idaho's appeal before deciding which cases to hear, and then add Idaho's case to the review process.

Read the amicus brief below:

Gov. Otter Supreme Court Amicus Brief by Equality Case Files

Idaho Republican Party Toe-Taps Larry Craig to Serve as Finance Chair: VIDEO

CraigThe Idaho Republican Party has hired former U.S. Senator Larry Craig as its financial chair of its executive committee, the Associated Press reports.

The news is somewhat surprising, considering Craig was ordered last month to pay the U.S. treasury almost $250,000 for improper use of campaign funds defending his infamous 2007 Minneapolis airport restroom cruising. 

No word yet on whether the job offer was communicated to Craig via a game of bathroom footsie. 

Check out the The Washington Post's recreation of the stall incident, filmed at the actual scene of the "crime", AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Idaho Republican Party Toe-Taps Larry Craig to Serve as Finance Chair: VIDEO" »

Deceased Transgender Woman Presented As A Man During Wake; Friends, Mentors Furious

Friends of a transgender woman who died suddenly in October were shocked to see their friend presented as a man in an open casket during her funeral service reports The Miami Herald. Jennifer Gable, born Geoff Gable, died suddenly on her shift with Wells Fargo as a customer service coordinator; an aneurysm is suspected of killing the otherwise healthy woman. Gable's friends attended the funeral, but upon seeing Gable's body in the casket they found themselves disgusted with what had been done to Gable's body.

Gable“I am disgusted. A great and dear friend’s mom went to the funeral today. It was not closed casket. They cut her hair, suit on. How can they bury her as Geoff when she legally changed her name. So very sad. Jen you will be missed and people who know you know that you are at peace.”Said Gable's friend, Stacy Dee Hudson, in a post on Facebook:

Gable's obituary explicitly referred to her as male, even though Gable legally changed her name to Jennifer long before her death. Meghan Stabler, a board member of the Human Rights Campaign and member of HRC’s National Business Council, expressed disdain for the lack of respect given to Gable's body and identity.

Said Stabler:

“No mention of the woman she knew she was and had lived as for several years. Just erosion of her identity and an old photograph of how the father perceived her to be.

"She had done what she needed to do legally to be seen as her authentic self. Her father erased her identity either though ignorance or arrogance, but who knows what the parent was going through?”

Stabler met Gable online after she reached out to her for advice on how to proceed with the transition process. Mike Parke of Magic Valley Funeral Home and Crematory in Twin Falls said Gable’s death certificate listed her as male and buried her accordingly.

Said Parke:

"The death certificate says Geoffrey AKA Jennifer Gable. The last few years she lived as Jennifer. They buried him as Geoff. A tormented situation for all those involved."

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:

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


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...

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

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


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...

Continue reading "Gay Families Crash Bigoted Idaho Governor Butch Otter's Halloween Event: VIDEO" »

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.


Towleroad - Blogged