The linked article is from an Idaho news site, and details some of the expenditures for Idaho in their quest to stop same-sex marriage which has been legal there since October 15, 2014.

The panel – made up of the governor, attorney general, House Speaker and President Pro Tem – unanimously voted to pay roughly $401,000 to the winning sides attorney fees and printing costs. Members then voted 3-1 to pay $55,000 for outside counsel to appeal Idaho’s gay marriage case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.Attorney General Lawrence Wasden was the sole vote against paying for outside counsel, saying his office was well-equipped to handle the cases and it was unnecessary for the state to pay the high price of private attorneys.

The fund’s current balance is $1.7 million; last year lawmakers transferred $1 million into the account.

The story raised a few thoughts for me:

I’m not sure I think pointing out dollar amounts alone is a useful tactic to use in the battle for Marriage Equality. Although some will say that it is a waste of money to fight what is a losing battle, or a fights against progress and fairness. What does this mean in relation to the whole Idaho budget? That would be a useful thing to consider.

Of course, this like other similar stories point out how easily lawmakers will spend taxpayer money, yet will fail to spend it on things that really improve the quality of life for residents of their respective state. Education anyone? Affordable Housing? Job retraining? We could make a long list.

But Justice and Fairness has a cost, and shying away from it simply because of the cost isn’t democratic. I grasp that in every state with a ban on same-sex marriage, there will be at least one legal battle as that ban is first tested in court. That is democracy in action, and so the State will incur some costs. But when a state ban is ruled unconstitutional, then what? How far is it cost effective to appeal the decision? Here in Pennsylvania, the Governor chose to not appeal, because rightly, he knew in the long run, that the ban was unconstitutional and why waste money fighting a losing battle? But how much is enough to spend? Idaho set aside or planned for 1.7 million!  That’s a lot of money if you ask me.

The other point, I find interesting is Idaho’s choice to use outside counsel for their ongoing appeal process. This really speaks to the inane, myopic, bigoted, perspective with which marriage equality opponents operate. If they just get the right person to argue the case, their position will succeed. But the reality is that no case against same-sex marriage has stood as defensible.

via Idaho taxpayers to spend $457K for gay marriage legal bills.

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