While supporters argue banning same-sex marriage unconstitutionally denies gays and lesbians their fundamental right to marry, Governor Butch Otter is not being swayed and vows to defend what the majority of Idahoans want...marriage between a man and a woman.
As it stands now the fate of marriage in Idaho hangs in the balance.
"I hear all the time that Idaho is anti-gay," said Governor Otter. "Quite frankly I just don't agrees with that. We are pro-traditional marriage. And anything that approaches on the definition of pro-traditional marriage in Idaho is going to be looked at as little bit of a scant."
But that's exactly what happened last month with U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale overturning Idaho's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. However the governor questions how one person could overrule the voice of thousands.
"63% of the people of Idaho in 2006 made a decision to amend our constitution, or to put in our constitution I should say," said Governor Otter. "That we define marriage in Idaho between one man and one woman. And then to have a single judge overrule that 63% doesn't seem like the republican form of government that our founders intended."
Following an appeal from Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, the 9th circuit issued a stay, halting all same-sex marriages in Idaho for the time being.
"We have submitted briefs in favor of continuing that stay until we proceed through the entire court strata, however high we have to go," said Otter.
Governor Otter said he's just doing his job.
"My personal belief is that I have to defend the constitution at the State of Idaho," said Otter. "I'm dedicated to supporting the constitution and supporting it where I have to."
The issue is on the fast track with arguments planed for the second week of September. The governor has requested a panel made up of 11 judges hear the states gay marriage case rather than just three judges.