BOISE -- The four Idaho couples fighting for their rights to be married, and have marriages recognized in the Gem State aren't the only ones asking to have same-sex marriage bans overturned.
Seventeen states will give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Of the remaining 33 states, seven states, including Idaho, had bans on same-sex marriage that judges have now struck down. One of those such states is Utah, where gay marriage was legal for six days and hundreds of couples got married before a stay was granted.
Because that process was interrupted in Utah, there's a grave uncertainty as to the effectiveness of those licenses that were issued to same-sex couples, said former Idaho Attorney General David Leroy.
Leroy said the events in Utah will probably encourage courts to grant stays while decisions are pending. This month, a judge also struck down Arkansas' ban on gay marriage.
The Arkansas Supreme Court has been a little less than clear about some of its recent pronouncements, leaving the county clerks on a one-by-one basis uncertain as to whether they can issue licenses or not issue licenses, whether they must issue licenses or have the option not to do so, Leroy said. That's extremely undesirable, and I'm glad at least that we don't have that circumstance here.
Leroy said these cases are bound for the U.S. Supreme Court.
The fact that the U.S. Supreme Court in Utah, where they were temporarily and for a brief period issuing same-sex marriage licenses was actually stayed by the United States Supreme Court itself, is a clear signal that that court is interested and will hear this case from Idaho or elsewhere, he said.
The events of the past few days put Idaho in the spotlight, and in the conversation nationally about same-sex marriage.