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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Idaho House asks Congress to impeach judges who rule for same-sex marriage

BOISE – The Idaho House on Friday voted 44-25 in favor of a nonbinding memorial to Congress calling for federal judges who rule in favor of gay marriage to be impeached.

“I think somehow, someday we’ve got to take a stand,” GOP Rep. Paul Shepherd told the House. A sixth-term state representative from Riggins who owns a sawmill and log home company, Shepherd was the author and sponsor of the measure.

“You can’t say an immoral behavior according to God’s word, what we’ve all been taught since the beginning, is something that’s just, and that’s really kinda what this is all about,” he told the House. “We’d better uphold Christian morals. As an example, how about fornication, adultery and other issues.”

There was bipartisan opposition, with 11 Republicans joining all 14 House Democrats in opposing the memorial, called HJM 4.

Rep. Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, spoke in favor of the bill. “The thing that bothers me is that a small group of judges are ignoring the will of the people from several states,” Andrus said.

When Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, in mid-speech, shouted, “Two people who procreate!” he was interrupted by House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, who admonished him, “We don’t need a biology lesson.”

Rep. John McCrostie, D-Boise, who is gay, told the House the bill causes him pain.

“This bill is personal, and it hurts me,” McCrostie said. “This bill implies that my marriage isn’t worth as much as someone else’s.”

House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, said the memorial shows a “fundamental error” in understanding the role of the nation’s judiciary.

“What this memorial says is that we are so against gay marriage … we’ll try to impeach any judge who doesn’t see it our way, the way the Legislature of Idaho has it,” Rusche said.