Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 58° Clear
News >  Idaho

Otter asks 9th Circuit to re-hear Idaho’s same-sex marriage case

BOISE - Idaho Gov. Butch Otter announced today that he’s filing a petition with the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for a re-hearing of Idaho’s same-sex marriage case. “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, in a news release today, said, “One of the key arguments against the Idaho Constitution’s defense of traditional marriage has been that redefining it to include same-sex couples would not harm anyone. But the Hitching Post example shows the fallacy of that position.” The Hitching Post wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Coeur d’Alene, saying the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance would force its owners to perform marriages that they object to on religious grounds. That prompted a fundamentalist Christian group in Mississippi to claim that the city of Coeur d’Alene has threatened to arrest the two ordained ministers who own the chapel, and get its members to flood the city and the governor’s office with emails, but there was no such threat. The city has asked that the lawsuit be withdrawn; the chapel recently filed to become a church, which would exempt it from the city ordinance. Otter said, “I have repeatedly pointed out to the courts that unaccountable judges imposing their perception of social change on the law – rather than public policy being changed through the democratic process – undoubtedly will lead to increased religious strife and restrictions on private property. For these important reasons, 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 is in the midst of campaigning for a third term; his two leading opponents, Democrat A.J. Balukoff and Libertarian John Bujak, both oppose continuing Idaho’s court fight against same-sex marriage, which became legal in Idaho last week.
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.