Four Idaho couples had their day in court Monday as U.S. District Court Judge Candy Dale listened to arguments for and against Idaho's ban of same-sex marriages.
The couples are represented by two Idaho attorneys and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which has successfully argued against similar anti-gay constitutional amendments in Utah and New Mexico.
Here is more information about the couples in this landmark case:
Sue Latta and Traci Elhers of Boise have been a couple for 10 years. Latta is an adjunct professor at Boise State University and is deeply involved in the Boise arts community. Ehlers is a co-owner of a Boise business. Latta has adult children, who have been co-parented, and two grandchildren.
Lori and Sharne Watson of Boise have been together for four years. Lori Watsen is a licensed clinical social worker and associate field director for Boise State University's School of Social Work. Sharene is a physician assistant. They are parents of an infant.
Sheila Robertson and Andrea Altmayer of Boise have been together for 16 years. Robertson is a teacher of deaf children and Almayer is a certified massage therapist. They are parents of a 4-year-old son.
Amber Beierle and Rachel Robertson of Boise have been together for three years. Beierle is a manager of a state historic site and Robertson is manages a commercial supply warehouse and a veteran of the Idaho Army National Guard, serving a tour of duty in Iraq.
Judge Dale told attorneys Monday that she hoped to hand down a ruling in the case in the relatively near future, according to the Associated Press.
ORIGINAL POST: Saturday, May 3, 2014
Monday, May 5, is set to be an important day in the critical debate over LGBT rights—or lack thereof—in the state of Idaho.
Attorneys representing four Treasure Valley couples are challenging Amendment No. 2 of the Idaho Constitution, which states "a marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state."
But similar bans in other states have been challenged and, in some cases, been struck down in federal courts.
The same-sex couples will be tangling with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and attorneys representing Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Ada County Clerk Chris Rich, since the couples attempted to file for marriage licenses at the Ada County Courthouse.
Monday's arguments will be heard by Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale at 9:30 a.m.
Otter has often used the pending suit to refuse to talk about the debate, yet has insisted that Idaho will spend whatever is necessary to defend Idaho's constitutional ban.
The plaintiffs are Andrea Altmayer and Sheila Robinson, who have been together 16 years, Lori and Sharene Watsen who have been married (in New York) for three years, Traci Ehlers and Sue Latta who have been married (in California) for six years, and Amber Beirele and Rachel Robertson, who have been together three years.
The California-based National Center for Lesbian Rights will help defend the four couples. The NCLR has argued against similar constitutional amendments across the nation, including successful rulings in Utah and New Mexico.