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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Private lawyer Monte Stewart making Idaho’s arguments to the 9th Circuit

Monte Stewart, a private attorney representing Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, is going to give the state’s arguments, speaking both for Otter and for Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Stewart told the 9th Circuit. He’ll take up the full 30 minutes allotted to the state’s side.

“Idaho has a good reason that satisfies any level of scrutiny for its decision to preserve man-woman marriage and therefore a necessity to not include same-sex couples in marriage,” Steward told the court. “The good reason is this: The man-woman meaning at the core of the marriage institution generates and sustains the child’s bonding right, which is a social expectation, a strong social message, a social promise and norm that to the greatest extent possible a child will know and be reared by her mother and father, the two people who brought her into this world and whose family and biological heritage are an important part of her very being.”

Judge Marsha Berzon interrupted Stewart. “Your burden here, though, is to demonstrate why allowing other relationships than the ones you regard as optimum interferes with the ones you regard as optimum,” she told him. “I accept that burden your honor, and here is the answer,” Stewart replied. But as soon as he began, and made reference to heterosexual men and women marrying, Berzon interrupted him again. “The heterosexual men and women aren’t going to enter into same-sex marriages, so what’s the issue?” she asked.

Stewart responded, in part, “Because the only way a same-sex couple can be married ... is for the state to withdraw its support for the man-woman marriage institution ... and implement something new and different, and that is genderless marriage.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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