[JURIST] Four Idaho couples filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the Idaho District Court [official website] Friday challenging the state's same-sex marriage ban. The plaintiffs are bringing the lawsuit in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling in US v. Windsor [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; JURIST report] claiming that Idaho's refusal to recognize valid same-sex marriages from other states violates their constitutional rights. The complaint alleges:
Idaho's exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and refusal to respect existing marriages undermines the plaintiff couples' ability to achieve their life goals and dreams, disadvantages them financially and denies them "dignity and status of immense import." ... Idaho's exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, and its refusal to respect the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other states, violate the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.In addition, the complaint focuses heavily on the effect this restriction on children in these families. Specifically claiming this relegates these families to a "second-class" status. The state has not yet responded to the complaint.
The heated debate over same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is one of the most polarizing issues currently facing the American legal community. Last week, a Hawaiian judge refused to block [JURIST report] same-sex marriage legalization. Days before, a federal judge in Ohio ruled [JURIST report] that a lawsuit seeking the recognition of same-sex marriages on Ohio death certificates could continue. Also last week a Colorado same-sex couple filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] seeking a marriage license. Earlier that week a Missouri court denied [JURIST report] a same-sex partner survivor benefits. In September a Kentucky judge issued a ruling in the opposite direction, holding that partners in a same-sex couple must testify against one another [JURIST report] because same-sex partners are not protected by the husband-wife privilege under state law.