BOISE, Idaho — A federal judge says she will decide soon if Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the equal protection guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale told attorneys for four couples Monday that the emotional case raised lots of questions, and that she would get a ruling out in the “relatively near future.” She declined to give a specific date, and it wasn’t clear if her decision would come before other cases pending across the nation. The four couples, all women, say Idaho discriminates by subjecting them to different tax rules and denying them rights given heterosexual families. Their attorney, Deborah Ferguson of Boise, said the sole purpose of Idaho’s 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is to subject same-sex couples to stigma and shame. More