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On October 15, 2014, same-sex couples began marrying across the state of Idaho. The evening before, Governor Butch Otter said that he would not take any further steps to appeal a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Previously, stays in the ruling had been denied by both the 9th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. On October 22, Governor Otter filed a petition for an en banc hearing. The request for an en banc hearing is a desperate, last-ditch effort, and based on this month's actions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit, the attempts are very likely to fail.

The 9th Circuit ruling was issued on October 7, affirming the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. The ruling was an affirmation of a May 13 federal ruling in Latta v. Otter, which struck down the state's anti-marriage constitutional amendment. The lawsuit argued that laws in Idaho that restrict marriage to different-sex couples and refuse to respect legal marriages of same-sex couples who married in other states violate the United States Constitution's commitment to equal protection and due process. Learn more about Marriage Litigation in Idaho.


In 2006, anti-gay forces in Idaho pushed through Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any form of legal family status. 


  • The National Center for Lesbian Rights works to bring civil rights to all families through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education, and is working on the lawsuit to bring the freedom to marry for all families in Idaho.
  • Your Family, Friends, & Neighbors is a grassroots organization dedicated to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. 


Support for the freedom to marry has increased dramatically in the past 8 years, with 41% of residents now supporting marriage. In 2004, just 26% were supportive. (Williams Institute, 2012)   


According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 2,042 same-sex couples are living in Idaho, representing 3.5 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

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Resources Related to Idaho

Idaho Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Idaho.

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Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

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