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Amber and Rachael filed their lawsuit against Idaho in Nov. 2013. They were married Oct. 15, 2014.In November 2013, eight women -- four couples -- sued the state of Idaho over its 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.The plaintiffs, Susan Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori Watsen and Sharene Watsen, Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer, and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson, say Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage violates equal protection and due process guarantees.Two of the couples have been legally married in other states and two have tried to get Idaho marriage licenses and been denied.Their case went to U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale in May 2014. On May 13, eight days after Dale heard the case, she struck down Idaho's same-sex marriage ban.Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden appealed that ruling in an effort to uphold Idaho's Constitution as approved by voters in 2006.On Oct. 7, 2014, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Dale's ruling, striking down Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage. After more than a week of legal challenges, same-sex marriages began Oct. 15, 2014 in Idaho.

Lawyers In Idaho Gay Marriage Case Expect To Meet Again At High Court

File photo of the James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco.
File photo of the James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco.

The fate of Idaho's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is in the hands of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

File photo of the James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco.
Credit Wikimedia
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File photo of the James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco.

However, lawyers on both sides predict the case will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The opposing attorneys argued elements of the case at a discussion Wednesday organized by the University of Idaho law school.

On the side of overturning the ban is attorney Deborah Ferguson. She represents four same-sex couples challenging Idaho's law. Ferguson is encouraged by a string of recent federal court rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage in other states.

Still, Ferguson said, each court looks at this issue differently.

“The arguments that have been compelling to one court are not so much to the next,” she said.

One argument for overturning the ban is that marriage is a fundamental right and voters shouldn't be able to deprive same-sex couples of that right.

But attorney Tom Perry doesn't buy that argument. He's defending Idaho's 2006 ban on gay marriage. Perry noted that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in a previous decision called gay marriage “a new insight.”

“And if Justice Kennedy is right that it's a new insight, a new perspective then that's not one that's deeply rooted in the country's laws and traditions,” Perry said.

Both lawyers agree Idaho's case has several unique elements that make it a prime candidate for consideration by the Supreme Court.

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