Idaho Lawmakers STILL Refuse To Accept Same-Sex Marriage

"We have an obligation and a duty to defend our state Constitution," said Rep. Ron Nate.

This week, the Idaho Legislature voted to bring the state’s tax code in line with federal guidelines with regards to same-sex marriage. But two Republican lawmakers insist the Gem State doesn't have to recognize marriage equality, even though it’s the law of the land.

Representatives Ron Nate and Stephen Hartgen, argue Idaho shouldn’t adhere to IRS code because the state constitution still has a ban on same-sex marriage on the books.

“If we here in Idaho think that the laws or even the ruling of the Supreme Court is not constitutional, then we have an obligation and a duty to defend our state Constitution against those infringements,” said Nate.

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved HB 26 anyway, and it now heads to the House floor for approval.

It’s the second time the bill has hit a snag because of the marriage-compliance wording. The AP reports it only passed last year because Republicans added a clause that Idaho still had a gay marriage ban, albeit an invalid one.

“We’ve moved forward, it’s the law of the land,” said House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding (D-Boise).

Same-sex marriage came to Idaho in 2014, when Chief Magistrate Candy W. Dale ruled that Idaho's ban was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court temporarily stayed Dale’s order, but then lifted their stay,

After the verdict, Republican governor Butch Otter declared, “All of a sudden Idaho is anti-gay, that we are anti-something. We are not. Idaho is pro-traditional marriage and I’m not going to do anything to put that in danger.”

Sadly, Idaho is not the only state still grappling with the freedom to marry: North Dakota lawmakers are still refusing to change state forms from "husband and wife" to gender-neutral terms.

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