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Same-sex couples in federal court to fight marriage ban

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Same-sex couples in federal court to fight marriage ban

By Chris Oswalt. CREATED May 5, 2014

Four couples appeared in federal court today to sue Gov. Butch Otter and the state of Idaho in hopes of overturning the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages.

The hearing became emotional for the plaintiffs as both sides argued their case. Two women, Shelia Robertson and her partner of 16 years, Andrea Altmayer were at the hearings today and explained, “Andrea and I are profoundly grateful to be here. For the judge’s willingness to hear the case.”

Ultimately, the four couples want Judge Candy Dale to strike down the ban with their lawyers claiming the law is discriminatory.

Lawyers for the state are urging the judge to uphold the law, claiming federal courts in 10 other states were wrong in overturning state bans arguing that, “there are natural procreated couples who are responsible for the children in this state. The state wants to promote stable environments for those children and this law is reasonably related to that goal.”
For Robertson and Altmayer who have a four-year-old son, they found that argument inconsistent explaining, “We love our boy and there is nothing in this world we wouldn’t do for him.”

The argument of the state is a defense that Judge Dale seemed to question with several points during the hearing noting that heterosexual couples don’t have to prove intent to have children when applying for a marriage license.

Dale says she will make a decision on the case “soon”, but if she chooses to do so, can dismiss the case all together, or rule on two summaries of the judgment.

One of those summaries would strike down the ban in Idaho which would make same-sex marriages legal. The other would force Idaho to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.