Idaho lawmakers have approved transfer
of $1 million from Idaho's general fund to the Constitutional Defense
Fund used to defend the Idaho Constitution.
Officials have previously suggested
that the fund could be used to defend against a constitutional
challenge to Idaho's ban on gay marriage.
A federal judge has scheduled a May 5
hearing on a lawsuit brought by four lesbian couples, three of whom
are raising children.
Idaho State Rep. Shirley Ringo, a
Democrat, voted against the transfer, saying she did not want to
spend money “on supporting a bad decision.”
“It won't hold up constitutionally,”
told the AP.
The plaintiff couples assert that
Idaho's 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting
marriage to heterosexual couples cannot stand in light of the 2013
Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key provision of the Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA). Idaho's amendment bans same-sex marriage and
civil unions. Similar prohibitions appear in state statutes.
The case, Latta v. Otter, names
Idaho Governor C.L. Butch Otter, a Republican, as a defendant.
Federal judges have knocked down all or
part of similar bans in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Texas.
ban was declared invalid on Wednesday, the following day Kentucky
was ordered to recognize the out-of-state marriages of gay couples.
The District of Columbia and 17 states allow gay couples to marry.