John M. Becker

Idaho Gov. Resumes Fight Against Marriage Equality

Filed By John M. Becker | October 22, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Butch Otter, gay marriage, Idaho, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

butch-otter-idaho.jpgLast week, when C.L. "Butch" Otter -- the twice-married, anti-gay Republican Governor of Idaho -- admitted that he couldn't stop marriage equality from arriving in Idaho, he implied that he intended to keep an eye out for future opportunities to block same-sex couples from marrying.

Yesterday, he made good on that promise, announcing that he will ask a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rehear the state's marriage equality case. The (Spokane, Washington) Spokesman-Review reports:

"I will continue defending Idahoans' self-determination and the will of Idaho voters who decided that traditional marriage is a core principle of our society," Otter said in a statement; he said his office will file the petition later today.

Otter is seeking an en banc review at the 9th Circuit, which, because the circuit is so large, would mean that an 11-judge panel would re-hear the case; a three-judge panel made the decision earlier, tossing out Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. In smaller circuits, an en banc review is a rehearing by the full court.

Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden earlier requested that 9th Circuit assign a full 11-judge panel to hear Idaho's case in the first place, rather than a three-judge panel; that request was denied. Wasden is not joining with Otter in today's petition.

However, his spokesman, Todd Dvorak, said today that Wasden does plan to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming weeks.

Otter's office cited the example of the Hitching Post, a wedding chapel in Coeur d'Alene that's suing the city over its nondiscrimination ordinance, on religious grounds. Turns out, though, that the entire story is a lie, cooked up by right-wing groups to fuel their persecution complex (and coax dollars out of frightened donors). But meh -- details, details.

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