Elections, Campaign Disclosure and Lobbyists

Ben Ysursa, Secretary of State


H.J.R. 2

Legislative Council's

Statements FOR the proposed amendment

  1. Same gender marriages are not currently allowed under Idaho statutes, and this amendment provides for the same prohibition at the state constitutional level to ensure that Idaho state courts do not allow or require the recognition of same gender marriages.
  2. This amendment would prevent Idaho state courts from recognizing same gender marriages that are legally allowed in other states or other countries.
  3. Because marriage is a public institution with special importance to society, the state of Idaho has a legitimate interest in establishing the marriage policy for its citizens.
  4. This amendment does not prevent private industry from extending certain benefits to its employees nor does it limit a person's right to name medical and financial agents or to enter into contractual agreements.
  5. This amendment does not deny any existing rights under Idaho law, but Idaho's current marriage laws could be weakened in the future without this amendment.

Statements AGAINST the proposed amendment

  1. This amendment is not needed since Idaho Code already limits the right to marry to one man and one woman and does not recognize out-of-state marriages that are in conflict with Idaho public policy.
  2. This amendment uses the term "domestic legal union," which is not defined and will likely result in costly and lengthy litigation.
  3. Because this amendment is broadly drafted, it could be construed to prohibit domestic partners of private-sector employees who receive health and other benefits from access to Idaho courts to enforce such benefits.
  4. This amendment could in the future deny same gender couples in committed relationships the protections and benefits available to married couples, such as access to spousal Social Security benefits upon a partner's death, automatic "next of kin" emergency medical decisions and "family member" hospital visitation rights.
  5. Just as the United States Constitution's Equal Protection Clause guarantees equal treatment under the law for all persons, Idaho's Constitution is designed to protect liberties and should not be amended to exclude certain people from legal protections.

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