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Gay Marriage May Have Rallied Idaho Republicans Around Otter

Jessica Robinson
Northwest News Network

A federal appeals court Thursday upheld gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. It’s a break with the trend in most courts.

That could provide a legal opening for Idaho Governor Butch Otter, who has vowed to continue the fight against gay marriage in his state. The issue may have even helped him win re-election.

State Sen. Bob Nonini, part of a faction of far-right Republicans that’s been openly dissatisfied with Otter, was enthusiastic about Otter’s fight for Idaho’s voter-passed ban on gay marriage. He said three judges in San Francisco shouldn’t be able to overturn the will of the people.

Idaho Republican Party chair Steve Yates added, “I do think that the court's ruling had a galvanizing effect among the Republican base.” Yates said it may have rallied independent voters too.

Gay marriage took effect in Idaho on October 15 under court order. The ruling in Ohio means the issue of state gay marriage bans could be headed to the Supreme Court.