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US: Court smacks down Idaho Governor’s bid to halt same-sex weddings

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A court has denied a bid by the Governor of Idaho to halt same-sex weddings – months after couples started marrying.

Idaho’s constitutional same-sex marriage ban was struck down in October by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, bringing marriage equality to the state.

However, three months after that ruling, Governor Butch Otter appealed for a review, asking the court to halt the weddings on the grounds that same-sex marriage harms children, leading to an “increased risk of crime, emotional and psychological difficulties, poor performance in school and other ills”.

Hundreds of couples have already married in Idaho, meaning that the Governor is directly fighting to re-instate a ban that would void all recognition of their existing unions.

The court this week voted to deny the governor a costly ‘en banc’ review, which would see the case re-heard by 11 judges simultaneously.

In their short ruling, the judges wrote: “The panel has voted to deny the petitions for rehearing en banc.

“The full court was advised of the petitions for rehearing en banc. A judge requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en banc.

“The matter failed to receive a majority of the votes of the nonrecused active judges in favor of en banc reconsideration. The petitions for rehearing en banc are denied.”

The National Center For Lesbian Rights responded: “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.

“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.”

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