Wednesday, May 14, 2014

U.S. judge overturns Idaho ban on gay marriage | Reuters

U.S. judge overturns Idaho ban on gay marriage | Reuters:

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge struck down Idaho's ban on gay marriage on Tuesday, saying it relegated same-sex couples to a second-class status in violation of constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law.
The ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale was the latest in a string of decisions by federal judges against state bans on same-sex matrimony that, if upheld by higher courts, would sharply broaden access to marriage for U.S. gay couples.
Dale said her decision would go into effect on Friday at 9 a.m. local time, unless put on hold by a higher court.
Marriage rights have been extended to gay couples in 17 states and the District of Columbia in a trend that has gained momentum since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last June that legally married same-sex couples nationwide are eligible for federal benefits.

That decision, which struck down part of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, has been cited by a number of federal judges, including Dale, in subsequent opinions overturning state bans on gay matrimony.
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