Idaho, Nevada gay marriage bans struck down by appeals court

Tue Oct 7, 2014 4:44pm EDT
 
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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday struck down gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada, saying they were unconstitutional a day after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to address the issue.

The unanimous decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco follows rulings from other appeals courts which have similarly authorized gay marriage.

The Supreme Court this week had rejected appeals without comment in cases involving five states - Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana - that had prohibited gay marriage. With the 9th Circuit ruling on Tuesday regarding Idaho and Nevada, the number of states permitting gay marriage jumped to 26.

Those states could soon be followed by nine more that are bound by the same regional legal precedent.

Idaho's attorney general had been supporting that state's ban, while Nevada's declined to defend it in court. Representatives for those two offices could not immediately comment on the ruling.

(Reporting by Dan Levine and Kristina Cooke; editing by Peter Henderson and Matthew Lewis)