Americans for Marriage Equality

State ResourcesIdaho

Status: Marriage equality.

In Latta v. Otter, four same-sex couples, represented by private counsel, challenged Idaho’s marriage ban in federal court. The plaintiffs argue that denying them access to marriage violates their rights to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.

On May 13, 2014, U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale struck down Idaho’s ban on marriage equality, saying that “Idaho's laws banning same-sex marriage unconstitutionally deny gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry.”

On September 8, the Ninth Circuit heard the Latta case alongside a marriage equality case from Nevada and a month later, on October 7, the court struck down the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. On October 8, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy ordered the Ninth Circuit to postpone its ruling in Idaho temporarily, after state officials in the state filed a motion for a stay in the ruling.

On October 10, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the request and lifted a temporary stay placed on marriages for same-sex couples in Idaho, making way for marriages to begin in the state. In their brief to the Supreme Court, attorneys for plaintiffs in the Idaho case wrote that same-sex couples in Idaho deserved the same protections as same-sex couples in states that have marriage equality, otherwise “they will continue to lack critical legal protections for their families, such as spousal-visitation and medical decision-making rights in hospitals, that different-sex couples have long enjoyed; and their children will continue to be deprived of the security of knowing that their parents' relationships are recognized by the state where they live.” Same-sex couples in the state began marrying on October 15.