US courts allow same-sex marriage in North Carolina, Idaho News
US courts allow same-sex marriage in North Carolina, Idaho

[JURIST] Federal courts on Friday cleared the way for same-sex marriage in North Carolina and Idaho. A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina [official website] struck down [order, PDF] that state’s ban on same-sex marriage on constitutional grounds. US District Judge Max Cogburn stated that the issue before the court was neither political nor moral, but rather, it was “a legal issue” and that it is now “settled law in the Fourth Circuit that North Carolina laws prohibiting same sex marriage … are unconstitutional.” The US Supreme Court [official website], on the other hand, gave no explanation in its rejection [SCOTUSblog report] of a request by state officials in Idaho to delay a lower court ruling invalidating that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after the decision and per the guidance from county legal advisers, Latah County in northwest Idaho issued [Reuters report] its first marriage license to a lesbian couple.

In what appears to be an avalanche giving way to the protracted push for same-sex marriage in the US, federal courts have recently issued rulings allowing gays and lesbians in roughly a dozen states to be married. On Tuesday the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down [JURIST report] a same-sex marriage ban in Nevada finding it violated same-sex couples’ due process and equal protection rights. On Monday the Supreme Court denied [JURIST report] seven pending appeals, seemingly rejecting calls for a nationwide ruling on same-sex marriage, and putting into effect three federal appeals decisions legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana. Currently same-sex marriage is legal [Freedom to Marry report] in 29 states, and may soon be legal in an additional six.