US: Idaho judge refuses to stay same-sex marriage ruling

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An Idaho judge who yesterday stuck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban has refused to stay her ruling.

US Magistrate Judge Candy Dale wrote in her decision yesterday: “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.”

Her ruling striking down the law is set to take effect at 9am on Friday, but the state’s governor, Butch Otter, had urged for the ruling to be stayed so that it could be appealed.

However, Dale has this morning refused to do so, writing that an appeal against the ruling is unlikely to succeed, and that continuing to enforce laws against same-sex marriage would irreparably harm the four couples who sued, along with other gay couples.

She added: “Nor does the public interest favour preserving a status quo that deprives individuals of their constitutional rights.

“The court finds a stay pending appeal is not warranted.”

According to Associated Press, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden already is working on the state’s appeal to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

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.