By Jody May-Chang
Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com Aug. 6, 2010
“We’re so filled with hope for same-sex couples in Boise and across the country who want to get married,” an Idaho couple told Citydesk.
Jade and Riaâ€”who prefer to go by their first namesâ€”were among 18,000 couples legally married when they lived in California before Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage. U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Prop. 8, Aug. 4 saying, “it disadvantages gays and lesbians without any rational justification” and it “violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.”
“The ruling declared that my wife and I are as human as straight people,” said Jade.
“Using the word ‘wife,’ with all the legal weight of the institution of marriage, is very important to me,” said Ria. “There’s no mistaking my wife for my business partner.”
“Judge Walker made detailed factual findings on three central questions,” said Monica Hopkins, executive director of ACLU of Idaho. “Whether gay people are bad for kids; Whether our relationships are the same or different from those of straight people; and how exactly allowing us to marry would harm heterosexual marriages. Those three questions are key touchstones of the marriage debate all across the country. To have them not only answered, but demolished on the facts after a full trial, is a turning point in the national discussion.”
The court found lesbian and gay couples are monetarily harmed by being banned from marriage, something Ria and Jade know well. “We would have gotten $3,000 more back in federal taxes last year if the federal government recognized our marriage.”
Walker ordered a temporary stay until Friday in order to give both sides a chance to file legal papers on an appeal process that is widely expected to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We need to continue the fight for equal rights in Idaho and across the country. Everyone has a part to play in making that happen,” said Hopkins.