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Federal Judge Rules Idaho's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

OPB | May 13, 2014 5:49 p.m. | Updated: May 14, 2014 8:33 a.m. | Portland

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Less than 24 hours before Oregon’s second federal hearing on same-sex marriage, a federal judge in neighboring Idaho has found that state’s ban unconstitutional.

U.S. District Magistrate Candy Dale issued a memorandum decision and order Tuesday, the Idaho Statesman reports.

“Idaho’s Marriage Laws withhold from them a profound and personal choice, one that most can take for granted. By doing so, Idaho’s Marriage Laws deny same-sex couples the economic, practical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of marriage, relegating each couple to a stigmatized, second-class status. Plaintiffs suffer these injuries not because they are unqualified to marry, start a family, or grow old together, but because of who they are and whom they love.”

However, same-sex couples won’t be lining up at the courthouse just yet.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter said in a statement that he found the ruling disappointing and says the state will appeal.

“I am firmly committed to upholding the will of the people and defending our Constitution,” he said in reference to Idaho’s voter-approved same-sex marriage amendment in 2006.

But pending appeal, Idaho will recognize existing legal same-sex marriages starting at 9 a.m. Friday.

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