The Supreme Court on Friday lifted a
temporary stay of a lower court's ruling striking down Idaho's ban on
The order removes the last legal
obstacle preventing gay and lesbian couples from marrying in Idaho.
On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals in San Francisco struck down restrictive marriage bans in
Nevada and Idaho. Idaho asked for and Justice Anthony Kennedy
granted an emergency stay in the ruling. Later, the high court
clarified that the order only applied to Idaho, not Nevada.
Republican Governor Butch Otter said in
a statement that his administration would comply with the ruling.
“I disagree with the court's
conclusion, which negates the 2006 vote of the people of Idaho, is
contrary to the values of most Idahoans, and undermines fundamental
states' rights. But we are a nation of laws. Idaho now should
proceed with civility and in an orderly manner to comply with any
forthcoming order from the 9th Circuit,” Otter said.
According to the Spokesman
Review, Latah County began issuing marriage licenses to gay
couples on Friday.
In seeking the emergency stay, Idaho
argued that there was “a very strong likelihood” that the high
court would overturn the Ninth Circuit's ruling, which may cause gay
couples and their children to suffer “dignitary and financial
losses from the invalidation of their marriages.”
Lawyers representing plaintiffs called
that argument illogical.
“Applicants cannot simultaneously
acknowledge that being stripped of one's marital status causes
profound, irreparable harm and yet urge the Court to deprive
respondents of the ability to marry and to have their lawful
marriages recognized,” they wrote.
The court did not offer a reason for
its denial of the application.