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A federal judge struck down Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday evening, saying it is unconstitutional to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled that the state must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning Friday at 9 a.m., The Associated Press reports. "From the deathbed to the tax form, property rights to parental rights, the witness stand to the probate court, the legal status of 'spouse' provides unique and undeniably important protections," Dale wrote.
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R) said he will appeal the case. "In 2006, the people of Idaho exercised their fundamental right, reaffirming that marriage is the union of a man and a woman," he said in a statement. "Today's decision, while disappointing, is a small setback in a long-term battle that will end at the U.S. Supreme Court. I am firmly committed to upholding the will of the people and defending our Constitution."