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The Court finds Idaho’s Marriage Laws unconstitutional
May 14, 2014 11:18 AM   Subscribe

A federal judge in Idaho has issued a ruling (PDF) declaring Idaho's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, and today denied Gov. Butch Otter's motion for a stay on her decision overturning Idaho's ban on same-sex marriages.

Slate: "Intriguingly, Dale applied “strict scrutiny” to her Due Process analysis and “heightened scrutiny” to her Equal Protection evaluation."

The plaintiffs in the Idaho case, all women, include a couple who married in California in 2008, a couple married in New York in 2011 with an infant child, a Boise couple who have been together for 16 years, and a couple where one member is a veteran of the Idaho Army National Guard.

The last page of the ruling states that the injunction against the marriage ban and any other laws "to the extent they do not recognize same-sex marriages validly contracted outside Idaho or prohibit otherwise qualified same-sex couples from marrying in Idaho"
will take effect at 9:00 a.m. MDT on May 16, 2014.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (96 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gov. Butch Otter???
posted by jim in austin at 11:25 AM on May 14 [44 favorites]


That's stunningly forthright.

And oh god, that governor's name is a gay comedy fantasy.
posted by psoas at 11:25 AM on May 14 [12 favorites]


Gov. Butch Otter???

The stay was denied on eponysterical grounds.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:27 AM on May 14 [49 favorites]


Also, his first wife's name is... you guessed it.
posted by psoas at 11:28 AM on May 14 [54 favorites]


Idaho! I had no idea Idaho was going to be the next state, this came out of nowhere to me. I haven't been following individual states, though - mostly just the happenings in states like TX and VA. For those that follow more closely, what are the next states coming?
posted by troika at 11:28 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


As mentioned in the last SSM thread, I think there is definitely a sort of horse race on in the Federal judiciary, to see who's going to get themselves into the history books as one of the ones to pound a nail into the gay marrage ban coffin.

You're only going to get to preside over a case like that once in your career (if you're lucky), and lately it seems like there have been several judges who have decided to really make it count — no stays on the decision for appeals in particular.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:30 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]


!
posted by Jacqueline at 11:31 AM on May 14


Please do Virginia next kthx
posted by Jacqueline at 11:31 AM on May 14 [5 favorites]


Gov. Butch Otter???

I hope the disappointment doesn't ruin his Jug Band Christmas.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:34 AM on May 14 [23 favorites]


...his name is Butch and his wife's name is Gay. Was his opposition Sappho Nelly?
posted by The Whelk at 11:34 AM on May 14 [26 favorites]


Not to make this too much about the Governor (who I refuse to call Governor Otter because that name is adorable), but this from the Wikipedia is an amazing story:

In August 1992, Otter was pulled over on Interstate 84 near Meridian for suspicion of driving under the influence. He claimed the arresting officer observed him swerving as he was reaching for his cowboy hat, which had been blown off by the wind in his open car. Otter offered several explanations for failing the field sobriety test including: his stocking feet were stung by weeds and gravel, he had run eight miles (13 km) and his knee hurt, he was hungry, and that he had soaked his chewing tobacco in Jack Daniel's.

It's like he's trying to fight drunk driving by stealing all the best excuses and using them all at once.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:37 AM on May 14 [28 favorites]


Pickiness: His *former* wife's name is Gay. His current wife is named Lori.
posted by Four Ds at 11:39 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


It's like reality isn't even trying anymore.
posted by The Whelk at 11:40 AM on May 14 [17 favorites]


I hope the disappointment doesn't ruin his Jug Band Christmas.

Pickiness: His *former* wife's name is Gay. His current wife is named Lori.

This is now my headcannon for Emmet's and Ma's backstory.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:43 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Freedom to Marry hasn't been updated yet, but the stats listed there are encouraging. This brings the count up to 18 states:
Seventeen states - CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NM, NY, RI, VT, and WA - plus Washington, D.C. have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

In an additional eleven states, judges have issued rulings in favor of the freedom to marry, with many of these rulings now stayed as they proceed to appellate courts: In AR, ID, MI, OK, TX, UT, and VA judges have struck down marriage bans, and in IN, KY, OH, and TN, judges have issued more limited pro-marriage rulings.

Three states offer broad protections short of marriage. CO allows civil union, while OR and NV offer broad domestic partnership. WI has more limited domestic partnership.

With these advances, a record number of Americans live in states that recognize relationships between same-sex couples:

Over 38% of the U.S. population lives in a state that either has the freedom to marry or honors out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples.
Over 41% of the U.S. population lives in a state with either marriage or a broad legal status such as civil union or domestic partnership.
Over 43% of the U.S. population lives in a state that provides some form of protections for gay couples.

posted by zarq at 11:44 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


zarq, Freedom to Marry is also missing Arkansas in the correct list.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:45 AM on May 14


So, 19, then! Nice catch!
posted by zarq at 11:47 AM on May 14


he had soaked his chewing tobacco in Jack Daniel's.

That doesn't seem like a good excuse to me.
posted by smackfu at 11:48 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]


Was his opposition Sappho Nelly?
...
He claimed the arresting officer observed him swerving as he was reaching for his cowboy hat...

So I am now totally incapable of picturing Butch Otter as anyone but Zapp Brannigan saying "easy, boy" to his horse, Sappho Nelly.
posted by griphus at 11:50 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Pew's religion survey is working with old data, but back in 2008 (I believe) they listed Idahoans who reported religious affiliation as 23% LDS Church Mormon and 22% evangelical Protestants. So this is yet another victory against LDS Church bigotry.
posted by zarq at 11:51 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Way to go, Michigan Attorney-General Bill Schuette. We had the chance to be ahead of fucking Idaho and you blew it.
posted by Etrigan at 11:51 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]


...his name is Butch and his wife's name is Gay. Was his opposition Sappho Nelly?

Dickon Manwoody, Esq.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:54 AM on May 14 [6 favorites]


small arkansas update :

this is the upcoming cover of the arkansas times and this is the marriage license page from this morning's edition of the arkansas democrat gazette.

the stay is still looming, no ruling on it has been made, but in the last few days over 400 same sex marriage licenses have been issued and that's with a very limited number of counties issuing them.
posted by nadawi at 11:55 AM on May 14 [5 favorites]


For those who read Fast Food Nation, the former Mrs Otter is potato royalty.
posted by dr_dank at 11:58 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


oh and if you just can't get enough smiling couples finally being able to get married - here is an album stuffed with pictures.

and hooray, idaho!!
posted by nadawi at 11:58 AM on May 14


the former Mrs Otter is potato royalty

Out of context, seeing these words on the page would be an indication that I've probably been awake for too long.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 11:59 AM on May 14 [43 favorites]


Man with all these same-sex marriage rulings it's got to be a good time to be in the "jaunty bow-tie" industry.
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM on May 14 [8 favorites]


Huh. Gay Otter was Gay Simplot, daughter of J.R. Simplot, whose eponymous Simplot company made millions supplying frozen french fries to McDonalds. Interesting.
posted by zarq at 12:05 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Update at 3 p.m. Wednesday: Governor appeals ruling and stay denial
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:05 PM on May 14


the former Mrs Otter is potato royalty.

GIS searching for "potato queen" certainly pulls up an odd array of images.

Also, good for Idaho.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 12:07 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Just since January 1, we've seen these kinds of rulings in Utah, Texas, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma and now Idaho, and I might be missing some. Another one could happen today in Oregon, and Virginia's is in the works. And what's remarkable is that, as far as I can recall or find, since the Supreme Court's decision last June permitting same-sex marriage in California, not one single state or federal judge anywhere has ruled in favor of retaining a ban. (Correct me if I'm wrong there.) The trend seems to indicate that judges everywhere are taking those two Supreme Court decisions as a pretty strong signal.
posted by beagle at 12:07 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Governor appeals ruling and stay denial.

Honestly, this is just getting silly. He surely can't expect to win. It's a stupid waste of taxpayer money.
posted by something something at 12:12 PM on May 14


8 judges have now used the Scalia's dissent(s) to justify overturning same-sex marriage bans.

Thanks, Justice Scalia! :D
posted by zarq at 12:12 PM on May 14 [22 favorites]


A U.S. District Court judge in Eugene has denied a motion by the National Organization for Marriage to intervene in Oregon's gay marriage case.
posted by zarq at 12:19 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


BTW, the judge's name in Idaho is Candy...
posted by jim in austin at 12:20 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


the only reason i clicked on this thread was to be the first to make a butch otter joke.
posted by bruce at 12:23 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't ever say that judges continually using Scalia's dissent to overturn is sweeter than marriage equality.

But if someone were to ask if it was "as sweet", I'd have to give it some serious consideration.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:23 PM on May 14 [8 favorites]


Freedom to Marry is also missing Arkansas in the correct list.

Isn't it correctly on the list of states where judges have struck down a ban, but the ruling has been stayed?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 12:28 PM on May 14


And oh god, that governor's name [Butch Otter] is a gay comedy fantasy.

Is the lieutenant governor named A. "Harry" Bear, too? Anyway, good on you, Idaho.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:28 PM on May 14


So which will be the last state, do you think? Or will SCOTUS step in and make a final ruling before then?

Congrats and Mazel Tov to all the newly married couples!
posted by longdaysjourney at 12:29 PM on May 14


Isn't it correctly on the list of states where judges have struck down a ban, but the ruling has been stayed?

There's no stay in Arkansas, but the ruling seems to be limited to the counties named as defendants, and some clerks just aren't issuing licenses because gay.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:29 PM on May 14


bruce: the only reason i clicked on this thread was to be the first to make a butch otter joke.

You know, there have been enough of these threads now that they are becoming kind of low-key, with plenty of room for jokes like that. Which is a fine thing, don'tgetmewrong.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:30 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Gov. Butch Otter???

Also, his first wife's name is... you guessed it.




Do you find that amusing, Centuwion?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:32 PM on May 14 [28 favorites]


Scalia should really become a verb at this point that describes a kind of legal Aikido where the attacker's own movement is redirected and used against them.

mrbigmuscles: "GIS searching for "potato queen" certainly pulls up an odd array of images."

I can't help but think of "Sweet Potato Queen's" boots as bacon boots.
They do look like bacon boots.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:32 PM on May 14


Otter offered several explanations for failing the field sobriety test including: his stocking feet were stung by weeds and gravel, he had run eight miles (13 km) and his knee hurt, he was hungry, and that he had soaked his chewing tobacco in Jack Daniel's.
Jake: No I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas! I--I had a flat tire! I didn't have enough money for cab fare! My tux didn't come back from the cleaners! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!!!
[Elwood covers his head in anticipation of more gunfire. Jake removes his sunglasses to make a wordless appeal, and the Mystery Woman visibly softens]
Mystery Woman: Oh, Jake... Jake, honey...
[Jake embraces the Mystery Woman and they kiss]
Jake: [to Elwood] Let's go.
[He drops the Mystery Woman and walks off]
Elwood: [to the Mystery Woman as he steps past her] Take it easy.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:33 PM on May 14 [6 favorites]


My cousin is a JP in Arkansas, and he got to spend all day Monday officiating marriage ceremonies. His Facebook photo updates throughout the day gave me all kinds of schmoopy.
posted by coppermoss at 12:34 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


His *former* wife's name is Gay. His current wife is named Lori.

I'm convinced she divorced him because she didn't want to spend the rest of her life as "Gay Otter."

If there isn't a beachside club in Key West or P-town called The Gay Otter, there should be.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:37 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]


With any luck, the end result of all these judges using Scalia's own judicial arguments like this will be one big fat Scalia-coronary.

One good thing about this not taking effect until 9am Friday: it gives all the Idaho marriage license offices time to call in every single employee they have ("no, you CANNOT take this weekend off! We're expecting huge lines, Smedley, so you make sure you get your butt in here!"), as well as stocking up on blank license forms and such.

And longdaysjourney: I've long assumed my home state of Virginia was in a race for dead last (this is, after all, the infamous home of Massive Resistance to integrated schools!), but nowadays I'm nurturing a tiny hope we might even be in the thirties.... dare we hope for the twenties?!?)
posted by easily confused at 12:38 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


I will never get tired of these posts. The only thing better than one of these a week is two of these a week. After all 50 states come to their senses, let's start cheering on the remaining countries all around the world.
posted by marsha56 at 12:40 PM on May 14 [8 favorites]


Dead last? The only states that do not currently provide marriage equality in which there is no pending litigation at present are Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:41 PM on May 14


Heh. The best decision I made yesterday was ignoring the naysayers and making our response read, in part, "How do you like them potatoes?"
posted by klangklangston at 1:02 PM on May 14 [4 favorites]


I'm reminded of an MST3K bit - I don't remember the movie, but the name "Nellie Manley" came up in the credits. Mike said, "'Nellie Manley' is her stage name. Her real name's 'Sissy Butch.'"
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:02 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


Related in Kentucky: A federal judge has ordered Kentucky to pay $70,000 in attorney's fees to the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that resulted in the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:09 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]


\o/
posted by ChrisR at 1:19 PM on May 14


Please do Virginia next kthx

And longdaysjourney: I've long assumed my home state of Virginia was in a race for dead last (this is, after all, the infamous home of Massive Resistance to integrated schools!), but nowadays I'm nurturing a tiny hope we might even be in the thirties.... dare we hope for the twenties?!?)


Virginia's ban was declared unconstitutional three months ago.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:26 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


But Virginia's ban overturn was heard in appeal by a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit yesterday.

One judge is apparently quite insistent that the state does have an interest in marriage being heterosexual-only because babies. /bangs head on desk
posted by rtha at 1:31 PM on May 14


I hope (and suggest) that every gay rights organization give Scalia the highest honor/recognition/award that they have ("lifetime award for furthering LGBT issues", for example).

I imagine the only thing that would upset him more than seeing the tide turn is formal recognition that he was behind the legal reasoning and he'll go down in the history books as the person who penned the legal justifications for full recognition under the law.

That aught to piss him off something serious.
posted by el io at 1:33 PM on May 14 [9 favorites]


Pst... ought vs aught
posted by sbutler at 1:39 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


...his name is Butch and his wife's name is Gay. Was his opposition Sappho Nelly?

Dickon Manwoody, Esq.


Randy Wanker, Esq.
posted by blob at 1:44 PM on May 14


Vote for me!

I'm Taintlicker Von Clownpenis and I approve this message.
posted by dr_dank at 1:56 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


Dickon Manwoody, Esq.

Randy Wanker, Esq.


Rodger Frotworthy
posted by LionIndex at 2:09 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Maybe they heard about this: Idaho/Idahot? [via Barclays cash machine - really!]

Well Done Idaho. Good Luck and congrats to anyone getting married now.
posted by marienbad at 2:18 PM on May 14


Idahoan state government employee here.

Just for the record, he officially styles himself C.L. "Butch" Otter in all official communications.

Until I looked at his Wikipedia page just now, I couldn't have even told you what the "C.L." stood for.
posted by Hatashran at 3:17 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Cock Lunger.
posted by The Whelk at 3:18 PM on May 14 [8 favorites]


I'd say that's too on the nose, but the entire thing with the governor and the names/background of his personal life already seems like it's something that was written by me if I was drunk and had only learned facts about Idaho from a placemat.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:39 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


Idaho scrambles over marriage ruling as gay rights advocates plan next steps
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:39 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


And related: Arkansas Supreme Court denies the requested stay of Judge Piazzas ruling. Same sex marriages stay legal in Arkansas.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:51 PM on May 14 [6 favorites]


Beef McLargehuge
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:57 PM on May 14


( it's beef crunchsteak and big McLargehuge actually oh god what is wrong with me)
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


the arkansas thing for now is largely procedural. piazza was asked for a stay and the arkansas supreme court was asked for a stay. piazza hasn't ruled on the stay, so it's inappropriate for the stay to be in front of the supreme court since the lower court hasn't finished ruling. when/if piazza denies the stay, the state can go back to the arkansas supreme court and ask again for a stay.

this same thing happened in utah, but with a bit more quickness. the stay might still be on the way, but marriages are continuing in little rock and fayetteville.
posted by nadawi at 5:04 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


One judge is apparently quite insistent that the state does have an interest in marriage being heterosexual-only because babies.

As a childfree straight, every time I hear that I want to kick the judge who said it somewhere it really hurts. Preferably a place that would render any man involved at least temporarily incapable of participating in babymaking. Also, is it still a newsflash to these folks that gay couples can and do have kids?
posted by immlass at 5:16 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]


( it's beef crunchsteak and big McLargehuge actually oh god what is wrong with me)

I think what's wrong is that clearly the Space Mutiny name that would fit best is Bob Johnson.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:24 PM on May 14


Now everyone in Idaho can marry the gender ambiguous petty officer they want to.
posted by The Whelk at 5:29 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Dickon Manwoody, Esq.

Randy Wanker, Esq.

Rodger Frotworthy


Dick Santorum
posted by rocketman at 5:58 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]


Hugh G. Mannlicher.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:15 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Dear Gov. Otter:

Divorced people need to shut the fuck up when the concept of "defending" or "protecting" marriage comes up. Just saying.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:45 PM on May 14 [9 favorites]


and now the remaining counties in arkansas have shut down same sex marriage until clarification from the judge comes down. not sure why that change was made today, but it was.
posted by nadawi at 7:16 PM on May 14


Dead last? The only states that do not currently provide marriage equality in which there is no pending litigation at present are Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

At this point I'm starting to think that there is so much momentum for equality that even a negative Supreme Court decision would be just a temporary pause.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:22 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Adding to my delight: Federal Judge Rules Anti-Gay Group Can’t Defend Oregon Gay Marriage Ban.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:17 PM on May 14


Thank Sappo there's an ounce of decency and common sense in the federal court!!


It's like he's trying to fight drunk driving by stealing all the best excuses and using them all at once.
You missed the one where he said his cowboy boots (and undershorts) were too tight.

Otter is Idaho's second biggest embarrassment right behind Larry Craig. I love this state, but it certainly breeds assholes.

Today I'm proud of the Famous Potatoes.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:53 PM on May 14


Art Cortaters
posted by LionIndex at 9:04 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


I'll have you know there are at least some of us in Idaho who don't have gay-sounding names.
posted by straight at 1:37 AM on May 15 [13 favorites]


We're going to stop getting stories like this soon, it seems... just because we're running out of states to have their bans smacked down. (Arizona, you're on the clock...)
posted by azpenguin at 6:14 AM on May 15


I just hope that somewhere in Idaho there is someone named "Ida Ho."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:24 AM on May 15


I'd a ho in Idaho.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:41 AM on May 15


\o/

and QFT:

Dear Gov. Otter:

Divorced people need to shut the fuck up when the concept of "defending" or "protecting" marriage comes up. Just saying.

posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:45 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Divorced people need to shut the fuck up when the concept of "defending" or "protecting" marriage comes up. Just saying.

I'm guessing this is probably a pretty good translation from the Aramaic of what Jesus was writing in the dust in this story.
posted by straight at 6:55 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing this is probably a pretty good translation from the Aramaic of what Jesus was writing in the dust in this story.

I figure he was working on his fantasy football team. Balancing your receivers is hard enough without asshole Pharisees playing bullshit gotcha games.
posted by Etrigan at 6:59 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


The Underpants Monster: "I'm reminded of an MST3K bit - I don't remember the movie, but the name "Nellie Manley" came up in the credits. Mike said, "'Nellie Manley' is her stage name. Her real name's 'Sissy Butch.'""

It was episode 906 - The Space Children. The line is at 21:56 here, and is:
Crow: Nellie Manley, whose real name is Sissy Macho.
Thank you for your patronage at MST3K Pedantry.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:44 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]


Antonin Scalia, Gay Rights Hero. (video)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:48 AM on May 15


Thank you for your patronage at MST3K Pedantry.

One more punch on my card, and I get a free Sampo!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:50 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Judge strikes all Arkansas bans on gay marriage
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:15 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


Ninth Circuit has issued a stay in Idaho.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:48 PM on May 15


Idaho GOP Governors Primary Debate with some colorful characters
posted by Blasdelb at 8:04 AM on May 16


If you watch it to the end, one of the two distinguished gentlemen opposing the credible candidates makes sure to thank Governor Otter for his insistence that they be allowed to participate. "Butch" Otter may be an ass, but he is no idiot.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:14 AM on May 16


(via Ninth Circuit has issued a stay in Idaho link)

Dallas morning show anchor storms off set during Michael Sam kiss discussion

"Kushner asserted that “ESPN would not have aired any of it had he been kissing his wife,” and was not the only host that objected to the kiss.

Host Suzie Humphreys (second from right) declared, “I’m shaking my head because people don’t have a right to express how they feel if it offends somebody else,” seemingly unaware that she and Kushnir were doing just that on live television."
posted by marienbad at 8:54 AM on May 16


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