Robert Ehlert: Gay marriage ruling naturally stirs up debate

May 15, 2014 

A group of same sex marriage supporters gathered on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol in Boise, Idaho. Earlier in the day a Federal judge ruled that Idaho's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. Tuesday May 13, 2014. Tuesday May 13, 2014

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Magistrate Judge Candy Dale has ruled against Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage and rejected Gov. Butch Otter's request for a stay. Weddings between same-sex couples could begin as early as Friday morning.

The only thing moving faster than this federal ruling and the story's development is the reaction from Idahoans over social medial channels.

Online commenters have been mostly in favor of Dale's ruling, but a polarizing debate erupts at points among the hundreds of comments to Idaho Statesman stories and dozens of Facebook and Twitter threads.

Here are some samples:

Ryan Collins: I have a legal ordination in ministry. If anyone is looking for someone to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony let me know!


Thomas Allen: And just think, Otter appropriated $1 MILLION TAXPAYER DOLLARS to fight this exact fight which has failed...hooray!! Your tax dollars at work people, but who cares about 1 million dollars of state tax money right?

Spencer W. Bingham: One million dollars is a drop in the bucket, about 80 cents an Idahoan. Most schools and highway departments have budgets well over a million dollars.

Craig Baker: Spencer W Bingham - it is still a lot of money, regardless, money that could have better spent elsewhere.

David Rencher: Spencer W Bingham. Oh, well that makes it OK then, because it's just a drop in the bucket. Sure it'd help a lot of other agencies out but since it's just $.80 it's totally OK for the government to waste tax dollars on futile pointless lawsuits. I'm super duper glad you pointed that out!


Lisa Wood: Why is that I see so many Christians freaking out over this? Do you not believe that God is in control of all things? You are called to love and leave the judgement up to God. Get over yourselves!


James Bradford: Once again, one single, unelected judge overturns the rule of the people of an entire state. Many states have SSM legal through either popular vote or legislation, which should be the way in others only if they choose. Bringing up the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment, it was meant to protect black Americans from discrimination (segregation, etc.) and does not even mention SS marriage in itself. Also when DOMA was tossed out by SCOTUS last year, only Section 3 was tossed. Section 2, left intact (in Justice Kennedy's opinion), reserves the rights/powers to the states to define or redefine marriage.


Dennis Cygan: I have loved ones who support these laws and I am glad that they are able to find their desired happiness. However, I cannot help but to ask what is next? Polygamy? Forty-year-olds trying to marry teenagers? People who support these ideas will claim civil rights as well. When laws are made, affirmed and reversed, we have to realize that consequence of the law extends past the now.

Ernie Revello: Consenting adults rules out the pedophiles. Polygamy is more a Limited Liability Partnership sort of thing. Ask your lawyer for the forms.

Chuck Hill: We feel you

Jeff Jankowiak Dennis: ... and just to add ... polygamy has led to violence against women, forced underage marriage, younger males being exiled from the tribe, and a wide variety of legal and benefit issues. I am happy to have the social discussion again but there seems to be compelling evidence.


Javier Smith: Even in 1994, when the Defense of Marriage Acts were flourishing across the United States, we knew that if just one state were to grant marriage equality the other states would soon follow suit. ... Marriage is a legal contract. The full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution allows for a contract made in one state to be valid in another. ... "Gays are icky" is not a good legal argument, apparently.

Robert Ehlert is the Statesman's editorial page editor. Contact him at 377-6437, or on Twitter @IDS_HelloIdaho.

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