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Judge refuses to stay Idaho same-sex marriages

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A federal magistrate judge has refused to put gay marriages on hold in Idaho pending an appeal from the state's governor.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale wrote Wednesday morning that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's appeal isn't likely to succeed, and so there's no reason to keep same-sex couples from seeking marriage licenses or marrying on Friday.

On Tuesday, Dale struck down Idaho's same-sex marriage ban in response to a lawsuit from four Idaho couples.

Dale said Idaho's law unconstitutionally denies gay and lesbian couples their fundamental right to marry and wrongly stigmatizes their families. She said the state must start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Friday morning.

Gay marriage is legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

Otter has vowed to appeal the ruling.