Same-sex couples want state to stay out of lawsuit against Governor

Same-sex couples want state to stay out of lawsuit against Governor

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - In November, four same sex couples sued the Governor and an Ada County clerk for not allowing them to get a marriage license.

Last week the Attorney General's office asked to be included in the lawsuit along with the Governor. State Attorney General, Lawrence Wasden says it's his job to defend the constitution of Idaho, which only recognizes marriage as being between a man and woman.

Even though there has been other judgments against same sex laws in other states, the Wasden says he will still defend the case. "We're taking into account all the other decisions across the country that have some bearing on this matter of course.  But our obligation is to make a legal argument in defense of the constitutional choice made by the people of the state of Idaho,"  Wasden said. 

Attorney Deborah Ferguson representing the same sex couples here in Boise, are asking the courts to prohibit the state from getting involved.  She says the Governor can adequately defend himself without the Attorney General getting involved.

Some Boise people following the case think Idaho may not be ready for change. "I don't think Idaho's there yet if Idaho's not willing to compromise and say well we're going to allow gay marriage here. There just not ready to move forward," Joel Johnson said.

Wasden says that even though the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, the Idaho constitution does not violate that judgment.  Wasden said,"They're making the claim that the state of Idaho constitution violates the United states constitution. And we have filed a motion to intervene and defend the state constitution and say the state constitution does not violate the United States Constitution."

Ferguson file a brief on behalf of the plaintiffs on Tuesday, asking the court to deny the state from defending the case with the governor.  Wasden says that it is common for his office to defend any law that is part of the Idaho Constitution.  The court will decide if the State Attorney general will be included in the lawsuit. The next step is for the Governor's office to answer the lawsuit that has been filed against them.