U.S. Supreme Court issues temporary stay on Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down Idaho’s same-sex marriages ban

BREAKING NEWS: 10/08/2014:   

“Supreme Court Grants Idaho Temporary Hold on Same-Sex Marriages”



Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down Idaho and Nevada state laws prohibiting same-sex marriages.

October 7, 2014

On October 7, 2014, Nevada’s and Idaho’s bans on same-sex marriages were ruled to be illegal by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the latest decision striking down state laws prohibiting the practice after the U.S. Supreme Court again sidestepped the constitutional dispute. (Because every Circuit Court of Appeals that has considered the question has agreed a ban on such marriages is unconstitutional, there is no split among the Circuits, which is usually needed for the U.S. Supreme Court to take a case.)

The bans in Nevada and Idaho violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said on October 7, 2014, adding to a wave of rulings with the same outcome. The judges rejected arguments that allowing same-sex marriage threatens religious liberties and child welfare, saying that if the states wished to ensure parents stay married they could rescind the right to no-fault divorce or divorce altogether.

“Idaho and Nevada’s asserted preference for opposite-sex parents does not, under heightened scrutiny, come close to justifying unequal treatment on the basis of sexual orientation,” wrote U.S. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, an appointee of Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Two years ago Reinhardt issued the Court’s majority opinion voiding California’s voter-approved ban.

Idaho’s ban on same-sex unions was overturned in Boise in May by U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale, who said the state, in seeking to regulate “matters of state concern,” didn’t have the power to violate individual constitutional rights.

The Idaho case is Latta v. Otter, 14-35420, and the Nevada case is Sevcik v. Sandoval, 12-17668, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).



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