US: Idaho federal judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban

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A US federal judge has overturned the US state of Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) reports the case was brought forward on Tuesday by four same-sex couples who said the state’s prohibition violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the US Constitution.

US Magistrate Judge Candy Dale wrote in her decision: “Idaho’s Marriage Laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental right to marry and relegate their families to a stigmatized, second-class status without sufficient reason for doing so.

“These laws do not withstand any applicable level of constitutional scrutiny.”

Unless the ruling is put on hold by a higher court, it is set to take effect at 9am local time on May 16th.

In February, the Idaho Supreme Court also made a broad ruling allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.

In October last year, the Idaho Tax Commission announced that same-sex couples in the state who were legally married out of state would recalculate their federal tax returns as if they were “single”, or “head of household”, before being able to file in the state.