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Appeals court says same-sex marriages will stay on hold in Idaho

Maria L. La Ganga

10:29 PM EDT, May 20, 2014

Reporting from SEATTLE

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In the rapidly changing legal landscape surrounding same-sex marriage, one thing stayed the same on Tuesday.

A week ago, a federal judge in Boise struck down Idaho’s ban on gay marriage, declaring in her opinion that "marriage is a fundamental right of all citizens, which neither tradition nor the majority may deny."

Before gay and lesbian couples could break out the rainbow-colored rice, however, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Atty. Gen. Lawrence Wasden appealed the decision.

And an appellate court put a temporary hold on U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Candy Wagahoff Dale’s ruling that the state Constitution’s definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, a three-court panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the temporary stay should remain in place until Idaho's appeal can be heard, meaning that no same-sex marriages will be performed in the Gem State for the time being.

The court also set an expedited hearing date of Sept. 8.

In a concurring opinion, 9th Circuit Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz wrote that “it is almost certain that the Supreme Court will eventually resolve the merits of this appeal, and I do not venture to predict the court’s ultimate conclusion.”

However, Hurwitz continued, “I find it difficult to conclude that the Idaho ban on same-sex marriage would survive interim 9th Circuit review.”