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Same-sex marriages: US federal court revokes ban


San Francisco, Oct 8 :

A federal court in the US has passed a ruling revoking the ban on same-sex marriages in Idaho and Nevada a day after the country’s Supreme Court allowed similar rulings in five other states.

The three-judge panel unanimously ruled Tuesday that the ban on same-sex marriages in these two states “violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment”.

The panel then proceeded to strike it down, making same-sex marriages legal in Idaho and Nevada.

“Idaho and Nevada’s marriage laws, by preventing same-sex couples from marrying and refusing to recognise same-sex marriages celebrated elsewhere, impose profound legal, financial, social and psychic harms on numerous citizens of those states,” said the court statement.

With this ruling, Idaho and Nevada join 30 other US states – 11 of them after the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday – which allows marriages between people of the same sex.

On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to rule on nation-wide legalisation of marriages between same-sex people and struck down appeals in five states (Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana) seeking a ban on such marriages.

This ruling also paved the way for same-sex couples to get married in six other states – Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has jurisdiction over three other states of the US currently prohibiting same-sex marriages (Alaska, Arizona and Montana) which means that Tuesday’s ruling could also affect these states in the future.

Since the US Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional last year a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as “the union between a man and a woman”, several state and federal courts have revoked bans on marriages between people of the same-sex.