Alabama may lose its title as the state fighting hardest against marriage equality, as 44 Idaho legislators come together to ask Congress for the impeachment of judges who rule against same-sex marriage bans. The 44 Republican members of the Idaho House who voted for the measure want to send a strong message — that they would rather legislate the way their religion tells them, than for a more equal U.S.A.
According to the Spokesman, the vote was 44-25, with all 14 House Democrats and 11 Republicans voting against it.
GOP Representative Paul Shepherd explained his position, and why impeachment of judges who support same-sex marriage is, in his opinion, appropriate.
“We’d better uphold Christian morals. As an example, how about fornication, adultery and other issues.”
It’s not clear whether Shepherd is proposing any new measures for the impeachment of judges or other officials who fail to sufficiently battle against premarital and extramarital sexual relationships, or simply expressing an opinion that, in addition to being forbidden to marry, LGBTQ individuals should also be denied consensual sexual relationships.
Magic Valley notes that at least one legislator in the state is very aware of the measure’s message to gay Idahoans.
Openly gay Representative John McCrostie spoke of the measure, calling it a political ploy and a way to attack gay citizens and devalue them.
“This speaks to a class of Idahoans. It speaks to a class of people who deserve, under the law, to be treated equally and without discrimination.”
Of course, a state legislature does not have the power to impeach Federal judges, particularly for reasons based on religious ideology or political stance. Ballotpedia has a full explanation of how impeachment of Federal judges works, but in short, it’s done by the House of Representatives, and for reasons laid out in the U.S. Constitution.
“The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
In order for impeachment of judges who rule in favor of marriage equality to be a realistic possibility, supporting marriage equality would first have to be deemed a crime. That’s clearly not the direction in which society, and U.S. law, are moving.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments for marriage equality this summer. In the meantime, Idaho’s taxpayers have covered the cost of legislation that will not result in the impeachment of judges, but does successfully send a message to the state’s LGBTQ voters.
[Photo by: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]