Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More Same-Sex Marriage Developments-- 4th Circuit Oral Arguments; Idaho's Laws Invalidated By District Court

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday heard oral arguments (audio of arguments) in Bostic v. Schaefer. In the case, a Virginia federal district court held that Virginia's constitutional and statutory provisions barring same-sex marriage and prohibiting recognition of lawful same-sex marriages performed elsewhere are unconstitutional. (See prior posting.) Reporting on the oral arguments, the Washington Post said: "The sharply opposing viewpoints of two of the jurists suggested that the third, independent-minded Circuit Judge Henry F. Floyd, might hold the deciding vote."

Also yesterday, an Idaho federal magistrate judge struck down Idaho's statutory and constitutional provisions barring same-sex couples from marrying in the state or having their marriages performed elsewhere recognized in Idaho.  In Latta v. Otter, (D ID, May 13, 2014), the court concluded that Idaho's marriage laws violate same-sex couples' rights under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment. The court issued a permanent injunction, effective May 16. Idaho Statesman reports on the decision and on Idaho Governor Butch Otter's written statement after the decision saying that he will continue to defend the will of the people to limit marriage to the union of a man and a woman.  UPDATE: AP reports that on May 14 the magistrate judge refused to stay her order pending appeal, writing that the appeal is unlikely to succeed.