Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Otter Requests 9th Circuit 'En Banc' Review of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples across Idaho since Oct. 15, but Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who has steadfastly supported the state's 2006 voter-enacted same-sex marriage ban, isn't done with the issue just yet.

Oct. 21, Otter requested that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals convene for an en banc review of a previous, 9th Circuit three-judge panel ruling upholding U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale's ruling that the ban was unconstitutional. An en banc review would be a judgment by all 11 members of the 9th Circuit Court.

According to a statement released by Otter's office, the governor made the request because the original three-judge panel made "critical errors in its decision, among them failing to apply the correct legal standard to Idaho's marriage laws." 

Specifically, Otter cited The Hitching Post Wedding Chapel's lawsuit against the city of Coeur d'Alene over its nondiscrimination ordinance as an example of the harm presented by same-sex marriages. Coeur d'Alene's nondiscrimination ordinance prohibits housing, workplace and public accommodations discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and the Hitching Post has sued the city over its nondiscrimination ordinance, claiming that the city will force it to conduct same-sex weddings against the owner's religious beliefs, despite the fact that it's a nonprofit religious organization, and thus exempt from the ordinance's scope. 

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