Some Idaho Clergy Would Still Be Able to Refuse Same-Sex Marriage


According to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, Idaho is not anti-gay, it is "pro-traditional marriage," but to Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff, "Discrimination is discrimination."

This morning's Idaho State Journal points out that even if Idaho's same-sex couples are legally married, they still face the threat of discrimination in much of the Gem State, and that includes some municipalities that have passed so-called anti-discrimination ordinances.

The Journal points out that clergy, and possibly even the mayor, are legally allowed to refuse to officiate a same-sex marriage. "Pastors, priests, rabbis and Muslim clerics ... are on firm legal ground if they say 'I don't' to gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual couples who want to say 'I do,'" the Journal reports.

Pocatello made a point of including religious-freedom provisions in its own Add the Words ordinance, according to that city's chief legal counsel Kirk Bybee. 

What remains to be decided is whether someone who is licensed to perform a marriage and charges a fee would be required to perform a marriage.

The Journal points out that, for the record, current Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad had previously said he would not object to helping gay couples tie the knot.