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Same sex marriage (SSM) in Idaho

2014-MAY: Part 3:
Reactions to the ruling by same-sex
couples. Marriages delayed.
Public reactions to the court ruling.

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This topic continues from the previous essay

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lesbians in love 2014-MAY-14: Reactions to the District Court ruling by same-sex couples:

A same-sex couple, Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson, expected to be at the head of the line at their local county clerk's office when they return their to purchase their marriage license on Friday morning, MAY-16. They had tried to obtain a license once before, were refused, and thus ended up as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

On MAY-13, the plaintiffs, and their attorneys assembled in front of the federal courthouse where their trial was held to celebrate victory with friends and family.

Amber said:

"The first person I called when I got the news was my mom, and she said 'I'm so proud of you Amby.'

I don't think people understand what that means to native Idahoans who love this state and want to stay in this state but who want to be heard. It feels amazing." 1

Sue Latta, the principal plaintiff, said:

"We won. After arguing in court (last week) there was nothing clearer in my brain, we had a valid legal argument." 1

The article in from which the above was taken received over 1,500 comments from the public within 44 hours!

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two brides Reactions by the public to the court ruling:

Harley Brown (R) is a Vietnam veteran who is one of four candidates running in the gubernatorial primary for governor of Idaho on the Republican ticket. Wearing his leather biker jacket, he attended debate with Governor Butch Otter and two other challengers. Commenting on the District Court decision, he said:

"I used to drive taxis in Boise for 20 years at night and I’ve picked up my fair share of the gay community. And they have true love for one another. I’m telling you, they love each other more than I love my motorcycle. And I’ll tell you, they’re just as American as a Medal of Honor winner. Liberty and justice for all, equal protection under the law, I’m glad the judge made that decision. I’m glad that they want to get married and live like that. I know I’m not really talking like a Republican." 4

Considering the very low level of support for marriage equality and the very intense opposition to it among most older Republicans in Idaho, he may have destroyed his chances to be selected as the candidate for governor. A video of the entire PBS program is online; it is a real treasure to watch. 4

An article in The Statesman contained some interesting comments posted by members of the public: 2

  • Bruce Chambers posted:

    "And in other news, water is discovered to be wet. Of course the Idaho ban is unconstitutional. As for Gov. Otter's ill-informed statement. ... 'the people of Idaho exercised their fundamental right, reaffirming that marriage is the union of a man and a woman,' he seems to forget that the one of the primary purposes of a constitution, and the US Constitution, in particular, is to protect individuals from the 'tyranny of the majority.' Of course, being the loyal GOPer devoted to destroying the state and country, he'll continue wasting tax-payer dollars trying to defend the indefensible.

    • To which Santiago de Leon responded:

      "Homosexuality is WRONG it always has been. The same sex marriage ban is constitutional! This judge is making up laws!"

  • Frederick Bianchi posted, in response to a supporter of marriage equality:

    "Rick Teasley , it's you gay rights supporters and some of the gays themselves that are full of hate. You attacked Phil Robertson for expressing his views, you attacked the CEO of Chick-fil-A, you have attacked the Mormon church. Right now your vile friends and the left wing media are attacking anybody who found the gay kiss by that openly gay football player to be inappropriate. ... [People] can't even speak your religious beliefs anymore, if they are against gays. What is next? affirmative action for gays. One of these days people are going to get tired of having this gay stuff shoved down their throats and they will fight back, if people need to implement the 2nd amendment to protect their religious freedoms and right to express themselves then so be it."

    • To which Erik Viker responded:

      No Fredrick, people like the duck beard guy can still express their views. What they cannot do is express their views and not get negative feedback from those who oppose their views. You confuse free speech with consequence-free speech.

      And nothing is being shoved down your throat unless you have been forced to get same-sex married against your will or have gay sex you do not want to have. As long as we straights can be affectionate with our straight partners in public, gay people can do the same. You do not have the right to not be annoyed or uncomfortable in public.

      Your religious freedom is intact. You may believe whatever primitive things you wish to believe. You may not however impose those beliefs on others using government force.

      Your thinly-veiled threat of violence is dishonorable and I am ashamed to know you are a fellow American citizen.

  • Thomas Allen posted:

    "And just think, Otter appropriated 1 MILLION TAXPAYER DOLLARS to fight this exact fight which has failed...hooray!! Your Tax dollars at work people. ... Who cares about 1 million dollars of state tax money right? Hopefully Otter is not re-elected. ... Fingers crossed."

  • Linda Koontx Cawley posted:

    "Congratulations to all these brave ladies. I am so proud of them!" 2

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2014-MAY-16: Marriages were to begin on this day, but have been at least temporarily delayed:

Judge Dale had ordered the county clerks to issue marriage licenses on this date, Friday, starting at 9 AM. She had refused to issue a stay of her ruling.

County clerk Chris Rich said that he expected to "follow the judge's directive" unless some further development happens. 2

Idaho does not have a waiting period between the purchase of a marriage license and the couple's marriage. The LGBT community expected that Idaho would have a whole bunch of happy, married couples by the time that the county clerks' offices closed on Friday. If the recent similar experience in Arkansas is any guide, there might have even been a lone protesting picket at one of the offices.

Many commentators expected that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals might issue a stay at some point in the near future. However, that would normally require time to allow the Plaintiffs' lawyers to respond to the Governor's motion.

Unexpectedly, on Thursday afternoon. MAY-15, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily postponed implementation of Judge Dale's ruling. It offered no timetable. There will be no same-sex marriages on Friday in Idaho. 3

Governor Butch Otter was pleased with the stay. He said in a statement that he would pursue an:

"... aggressive challenge in the appellate court. ... I appreciate the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stepping in to ensure Idaho will not have to endure the same kind of chaos and confusion that Utah faced after a similar lower-court decision." 5

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Judge strikes down Idaho's same-sex marriage ban," Yahoo!, 2014-MAY-14, at:
  2. Cynthia Sewell & Kristin Rodine, "Judge denies Otter's request; same-sex marriages in Idaho can start Friday," Idaho Statesman, 2014-MAY-14, at:
  3. Lyle Denniston, "Idaho: No same-sex marriages tomorrow," SCOTUSblog, 2014-MAY-15, at:
  4. Chris Moody, "Idaho just hosted the best political debate of the year. Fringe candidates in the Gem State get their moment to shine," Yahoo!, 2014-MAY-15, at:
  5. Paresh Dave, "Idaho gay marriages on hold before they begin; 9th circuit issues stay," Los Angeles Times, at

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Copyright 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initial posting: 2014-MAY-15
Latest update: 2014-MAY-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

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