Idaho Governor Isn't Worried About How History Will View His Fight Against Gay Marriage

Oct 10, 2014

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Despite what many legal experts see as momentum for same-sex marriage legalization, Idaho governor C.L. “Butch” Otter says he is not concerned about being on the wrong side of history.   

“I don’t know how you end up on the wrong side of history defending the constitution of the state of Idaho,” Otter said Friday morning at a press conference at the Boise airport.

The governor says he wants history to remember him for upholding his oath of office, which Otter believes requires him to uphold all parts of Idaho’s state constitution, including the 2006 voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court left three lower court rulings in place, making same-sex marriage legal in 11 more states for a total of 30. That led to Republican attorneys general in Colorado, Utah and West Virginia deciding to stop defending their states’ same-sex marriage bans. Republican leaders in other states, including Wyoming, say they will continue to fight the decision.

On Tuesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco gave the go ahead for gay couples in Idaho to get married. However, the Supreme Court put a temporary stay on that at the request of Otter’s lawyers and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

“I’m going to continue to fight this because I don’t want a judge in a robe overturning the will of over 60 percent of the people of Idaho,” Otter says, a reference to the statewide vote on the issue eight years ago.

Find reporter Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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