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Idaho’s Attempt to Ban Gay Marriage Cost them $715,000
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Summary: Idaho has spent $715,000 trying to defend a ban on gay marriage.

Before the U.S. Supreme Court decided gay marriage was a Constitutional right for all American citizens, many of the individual States ruled one way or another on the issue, raising the simmer to a boil. All this came at a heavy cost – ultimately, to tax payers – and among the heaviest losses was Idaho’s losing legal battle to defend their ban on same sex marriage: it cost them $715,000.


Just last Friday the state’s top elected officials unanimously voted to pay $34,000 from the state’s Constitutional Defense Fund to settle attorney fees. This is after the state had paid $628,000 to the attorneys representing the four lesbian couples who took on the marriage ban, not to mention $53,000 to the state’s own defense, a private law firm.

“There were some interesting additions,” said Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, the sole dissenter in the choice to hire outside counsel to defend the state’s ban in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court. As he figured it, they needed no extra help, and private attorneys are expensive.

The $715,000 tops other states who fought similar battles and lost, including Utah, in 2013, who paid $95,000, and Oregon, who paid $133,000. Alaska paid $128,000, Nevada $615,000. The only states to pay more than Idaho include Michigan, which was ordered to pay $1.9 million, and Ohio, which paid $1.3 million.

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“[Legal fees] really depend on a variety of things,” noted Wasden. “It depends on the complexity of the litigation, the kinds of motions that are made and what the rate is for various offices. The court is who makes the determination, so you have to take that all into account.”

They ultimately lost their defense of the ban in 2014 when the 9th Circuit upheld May’s ruling that decided same-sex marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution.

Source: ABCNews


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