A federal appeals court on Thursday set
aside a lower court's ruling declaring Idaho's ban on gay marriage
U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale's
ruling was set to take effect 9 AM Friday. Dale declared Idaho's
2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to
heterosexual couples unconstitutional.
Idaho Governor Butch Otter, a
Republican, on Wednesday turned to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
in San Francisco after Dale refused to stay her order.
A three-judge panel of the appeals
court issued a temporary stay in the ruling.
“The district court's May 13, 2014
order is temporarily stayed pending this court's disposition of
appellants' emergency motions for a stay pending appeal,” the
Otter, a named defendant in the case,
Latta v. Otter, said in a written statement that the temporary
stay will help avoid “chaos and uncertainty” and promised an
“aggressive challenge in the appellate court.”
Earlier this year, Nevada announced it
would no longer defend its marriage ban in the Ninth Circuit after
the court ruled in a separate case that excluding jurors based on
sexual orientation was unconstitutional. In handing down its ruling,
the court cited last year's Supreme Court case which struck down the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Writing for the 3-member panel, Judge
Stephen Reinhardt said: “Windsor requires that when state
action discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, we must
examine its actual purposes and carefully consider the resulting
inequality to ensure that our most fundamental institutions neither
send nor reinforce messages of stigma or second-class status. In
short, Windsor requires heightened scrutiny.”