Four same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit in Boise challenging Idaho’s laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying and refusing to respect the legal marriages of same-sex couples who married in other states. The case will get its first hearing on Monday in federal court.
The lawsuit argues that Idaho’s laws barring same-sex couples from marrying and prohibiting the state from respecting the marriages of same-sex couples who married in other states violates the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.
The couples, all from Boise, include university instructors, a teacher of deaf children, and a military veteran who served with the Idaho National Guard in Iraq. Three of the couples are raising children together.
The couples are Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori and Sharene Watsen, Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer, and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson. They are represented by Boise attorneys Deborah A. Ferguson and Craig Durham and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
“Our clients have built lives and homes together, raised children and cared for grandchildren, and contributed to their communities and their country,” Ferguson said in a statement. “They are simply asking that the state treat them as it would treat any other family.”
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said he would spend whatever is necessary to defend Idaho’s constitutional ban and the state Legislature bolstered its constitutional defense fund in anticipation of the suit.