A federal judge has scheduled a hearing in the case challenging the constitutionality of Idaho's ban on gay marriage.

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale will consider a motion filed Tuesday by four gay couples on May 5.

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 couples, all of whom are from Boise, are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Boise-based attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that the state's marriage laws violate the United States Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The couples, three of whom are raising children, are Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori and Sharene Watsen, Sheila Robertson and Andrea Altmayer and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson.

The Watsens legally married in New York.

Lori said that Idaho treats the pair as if they were strangers.

“We are two dedicated, loving parents who have made work and other life changes to be able to provide our son a loving, safe home, but Idaho does not recognize me as his legal parent, so I have no official status in his life,” Lori said. “We have been forced to go through special legal steps and incur costs to protect our family as much as possible, but those measures cannot replace all of the protections that are given to married couples.”

The case, Latta v. Otter, names Idaho Governor C.L. Butch Otter, a Republican, as a defendant.