The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in
San Francisco on Friday refused to review its decision striking down
Idaho's ban on gay marriage.
A 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit
unanimously declared Idaho's and Nevada's bans invalid on October 7.
Nevada immediately implemented the decision, but Idaho attempted to
delay implementation as it pursued an appeal.
Gay and lesbian couples began marrying
in Idaho after the Supreme Court refused to delay implementation of
Idaho Governor Butch Otter, a
Republican, vowed to continue the fight and asked for a larger panel
of Ninth Circuit judges to review the decision.
Otter said that he was acting because
marriage equality harms individuals.
“I have repeatedly pointed out to the
courts that unaccountable judges imposing their perception of social
change on the law – rather than public policy being changed through
the democratic process – undoubtedly will lead to increased
religious strife and restrictions on private property,” Otter said
at the time. “For these important reasons, I will continue
defending Idahoans’ self-determination and the will of Idaho voters
who decided that traditional marriage is a core principle of our
Today's order denied Otter's request.
Plaintiffs in the case, Latta v.
Otter, are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights
“The Ninth Circuit correctly
recognized that there is no need to reconsider the panel's decision
that Idaho's marriage ban violates basic constitutional guarantees of
equal protection,” NCLR Legal Director Shannon P. Minter said in a
statement. “The Ninth Circuit's decision striking down the Idaho
marriage ban is consistent with the rulings of three other federal
appeals courts, which have rightly concluded that our Constitution
cannot tolerate the profound harm that denying same-sex couples the
freedom to marry inflicts those couples and their children.”