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Court: Gay marriage must remain on hold in Idaho

Tuesday - 5/20/2014, 8:13pm  ET

Sue and James Barclay are among a handful of protesters of a gay marriage celebration at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, May 16, 2014. Idaho's gay marriage ban was overturned Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Candy Dale said the law unconstitutionally denied gay and lesbian residents their fundamental right to marry. On May 15, 2014, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay while it considers whether a longer stay is needed. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- No same-sex marriages will be allowed or recognized in Idaho until an appeal is decided, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted request for a stay from Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

The decision means that despite a recent ruling overturning Idaho's gay marriage ban, same-sex couples can't get married or have their marriages recognized until the 9th Circuit or U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to let the ruling stand.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale overturned Idaho's gay marriage ban May 13, saying the law unconstitutionally denied gay and lesbian residents their fundamental right to marry.

Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden both immediately announced plans to challenge Dale's decision, asking the appellate court to put the ruling on hold while their appeals move forward.

Gay marriage is allowed in the District of Columbia and 18 states, including Oregon, where officials say no appeal is planned of a judge's decision Monday to strike down that state's same-sex marriage ban. Federal judges in Oklahoma, Virginia, Michigan, Texas and Arkansas also have rejected gay marriage bans.

Judges have ordered Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

But opposition remains stiff in many places. Critics note most states still do not allow gay marriage and that in most of the states that do, it was the work of courts or legislatures, not the will of the people.

In Idaho, Dale's ruling came after four same-sex couples sued Otter and Ada County Clerk Chris Rich. Two of the couples were legally married in other states, but their marriages are not recognized by Idaho. The other two applied for marriage licenses in Boise but were denied.

The couples contend Idaho's law is discriminating and a violation of due process.


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