Justice Kennedy Blocks Idaho Gay Marriage Ruling

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Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy granted a request Wednesday from state officials in Idaho to put a temporary hold on Tuesday's appeals court ruling that struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada violated same-sex couples' rights to equal protection under the law.

The ruling also effectively applied to three other states — Alaska, Arizona, and Montana — that ban same-sex marriage but fall under the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit, and would bring the total number of states where gays can or will soon be able to marry to 35.

The filing by Idaho officials said they have also asked the appeals court to place its Tuesday ruling on hold while litigation continues. Kennedy, who is the justice assigned to the 9th Circuit, has given the other side until Thursday evening to respond.

The 9th Circuit ruling came just a day after the entire Supreme Court paved the way for same-sex marriage in 11 other states by declining to review lower court rulings that struck down bans.

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