The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 10 denied a stay of the Ninth Circuit decision striking down Idaho’s marriage equality ban, allowing marriage equality to take effect in that state.
Idaho still has the option to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari. However, the state cannot refuse to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses pending a decision by the Supreme Court.
“Today’s Supreme Court order is yet another critical step in the path towards full nationwide marriage equality,” said Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow. “Same-sex couples cannot wait while the judicial process plays out, and the Supreme Court clearly agrees.”
Earlier this week, a three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that state bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples are unconstitutional. The court found that Idaho and Nevada’s marriage bans violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on the basis of equal protection.
Nevada declined to appeal the Ninth Circuit decision while Idaho requested an emergency stay and signaled their intent to challenge the decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary stay on Oct. 8.
Also this week, the nine justices of the Supreme Court announced they had declined to hear any of the cases pending before them challenging state bans on marriage for same-sex couples. This allowed the circuit court decisions striking down the bans to stand in five states, including Wisconsin.
Gallup puts support for marriage equality at 55 percent, with other polls showing support at even higher margins.
And support for same-sex marriage rights continues to grow in virtually every demographic group.