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

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

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.