Idaho and Wyoming refuse to recognize same-sex marriages despite court rulings

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By RYAN GORMAN

Two of the more than a dozen states where same-sex marriage was made legal this week through court decisions are refusing to recognize the unions.

Officials in both Idaho and Wyoming have used differing tactics, but both are refusing to allow the ceremonies to be performed in their states.

Gay marriages were made legal Monday in 11 states, including Wyoming, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear petitions from them after circuit courts ruled their bans on them unconstitutional.

The Ninth Circuit Court, in San Francisco, then struck down on Tuesday Idaho and Nevada's gay marriage laws in a manner similar to the circuit court decisions that prompted the denied petitions to the Supreme Court.

This effectively legalized gay marriages in 13 states across the nation, but Idaho and Wyoming did not take the decisions lightly.

As officials in Virginia, Wisconsin and elsewhere issued directives to immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Wyoming leaders went in a different direction.

County clerks in "The Equality State" reportedly refused to issue the certificates while explaining they were waiting for word from the governor's office. At least one county took the applications and put them into a pending status while awaiting further direction.

The explanation given was that the state's constitution specifically defines marriage as between a single man and a single woman. This distinction was made at the time of the state's founding to combat Mormon polygamy.

A series of lawsuits filed in state and federal court this week are expected to change that, but they will take some time to wind their way through the legal system.

Idaho officials have no such clause in their state's constitution but have still declined to recognize the circuit court ruling.

The state has instead reportedly filed an emergency motion to stop same-sex marriages from taking place in the state. Officials ask in the filing that the circuit court's mandate be recalled.

This motion was granted by the Supreme Court.

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Overturning the decision would keep Idaho's gay marriage ban intact. Gay marriages are also prohibited from taking place while an appeals court considers the motion.

Similar court proceedings across other states led to the Supreme Court petitions denied this week by the justices.

Gay marriages are now allowed in 32 states and the District of Columbia. It appears to be only a matter of time until the unions are recognized from sea to shining sea.

Same-Sex Marriage In Michigan Remains In Legal Limbo
Same-Sex Marriage In Michigan Remains In Legal Limbo


Related links:
Gay marriage bans in Idaho, Nevada struck down
Same-sex couples across US marry after landmark Supreme Court non-decision