The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled today in pending appeals on marriage equality bans in Idaho and Nevada. The court, led by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, struck down the gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada. The ruling comes a day after the Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in 5 more states and opened the door in 6 other states when it rejected a set of appeals.
The appeals court ruled that gay couples’ equal protection rights were violated by the bans. Judge Stephen Reinhardt said during oral arguments in September that he expects the Supreme Court ultimately will decide whether gay marriage bans are constitutional.
The opinion, issued by Judge Reinhardt, reads:
We hold that the Idaho and Nevada laws at issue violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because they deny lesbians and gays who wish to marry persons of the same sex a right they afford to individuals who wish to marry persons of the opposite sex.