Idaho will spend $1 million to defend its marriage equality ban

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The Idaho state legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s plan to shift $1 million from the state’s general fund to the Constitutional Defense Fund, to ensure the protection of their constitutional ban on marriage equality.

Their decision to shift such a large amount towards the same-sex marriage ban is in anticipation of a legal fight that could potentially be a long one. The Constitutional Defense Fund was created in 1995 in order to defend the state and its constitution.

In November 2013, four lesbian couples filed a lawsuit with the US District Court, challenging Idaho’s same-sex marriage ban, arguing that it violates the US Constitutions equal protection and due process guarantees.

In 2006, Idaho voted to enact a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Otter argues that states have the right to define marriage individually and that the ban on equality helps maintain “stable, husband-wife unions for the benefit of their children.”

Currently, Idaho law does not address discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in regards to housing employment, or the definition of hate crimes.

Federal judges have partially or entirely voided voter-approved same-sex marriage bans, pending approval, in Utah, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

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