A temporary stay has been issued on federal magistrate Judge Candy Dale’s ruling against Idaho’s ban on marriage equality, putting a delay on same-sex marriages in the state, which were scheduled to begin on Friday, May 16.
The order is only one sentence long, reading in its entirety, “The district court’s May 13, 2014 order is temporarily stayed pending this court’s disposition of appellants’ emergency motions for a stay pending appeal.”
It is not known how long the stay will last, or when the state’s request will be considered by the appeals court.
Governor Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter had filed a pre-emptive motion even before Dale made her ruling, asking for an immediate stay should the state’s ban be overturned. According to the Advocate, he wanted to prevent “the unseemly chaos, confusion, conflict, uncertainty, and spawn of further litigation” of marriages performed and then left in legal limbo.
Idaho’s Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is reportedly working on an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court regarding Dale’s original ruling.
The lawsuit against the marriage ban was brought in November 2013 by four Idaho couples: Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori and Sharene Watsen, Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer, and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson. Two of the couples married in other states and have children, and say that they sued the state to end their status as legal strangers to their own families. They brought the case with the assistance of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
A senior staff attorney for NCLR, Christopher Stoll, said in a press release, “We are pleased the Ninth Circuit will carefully consider our clients’ arguments that no stay of the district court’s order is warranted.
“We trust the court will consider the matter promptly. We hope the appeals court will allow the district court’s order to take effect as soon as possible so that all Idaho families can enjoy the important protections that marriage provides.”