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Marriage equality supporters rally in Idaho after appeals court stays ruling

Friday, May 16, 2014
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Carmine Caruso holds a rainbow flag during a rally in supports of same sex marriage in front of the Ada County courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, May 16, 2014. Idaho's gay marriage ban was overturned Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Candy Dale said the law unconstitutionally denied gay and lesbian residents their fundamental right to marry. On May 15, 2014, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay while it considers whether a longer stay is needed. Kyle Green, Idaho Statesman (AP)

Carmine Caruso holds a rainbow flag during a rally in supports of same sex marriage in front of the Ada County courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, May 16, 2014. Idaho’s gay marriage ban was overturned Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Candy Dale said the law unconstitutionally denied gay and lesbian residents their fundamental right to marry. On May 15, 2014, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay while it considers whether a longer stay is needed.

BOISE, Idaho — Waving rainbow flags and holding signs that read “Love will prevail,” nearly 200 gay rights supporters flocked to the steps of a county courthouse Friday to celebrate and protest the latest development in Idaho’s legal battle over same-sex marriage.

The rally originally was planned as a party after a federal judge ruled earlier this week that the state’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. The judge said couples could marry starting Friday morning.

IdahoKyle Green, Idaho Statesman (AP)

From left, Barbara Fairchild, Carmine Caruso, and Alicia Ponce join demonstrators that gathered this morning in front of the Ada County courthouse in Boise, Idaho in support of same sex marriage on Friday, May 16, 2014.

IdahoOtto Kitsinger, AP

Maria May-Chang, right, wipes away a tear after having a piece of cake with her wife Jody May-Chang, left, and their son Cody at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, May 16, 2014.

By Thursday, however, the ruling was temporarily put on hold by a federal appeals court deciding whether Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden should be granted a stay while they appeal.

Not to be deterred, gay and lesbian supporters showed up at the Ada County Courthouse anyway to celebrate what they see as progress for the cause.

Many arrived wearing rainbow-colored shirts and dresses. Some stood near the road holding pro-gay marriage signs and waved them at cars that honked back in support.

Local businesses donated coffee, cake and flowers that were passed around as dance music played in the background. Also in attendance were Boise City Council members, lawmakers and political candidates who attended to show their support.

“When you walk a mile in our shoes, you get used to setbacks,” said Boise resident Selina Heck, who went to the rally with her partner, Holly Gilchrist. After being together for 19 years, the couple said they decided to get a marriage license once they saw U.S. District Judge Candy Dale had overturned the state ban.

“We were deflated when we heard the stay was granted,” Heck said. “But it will get better. We are still hopeful.”

Brenda Martinez, a lesbian who was born and raised in Boise, said the rally was important to show Otter and Wasden that not all Idahoans agreed with their decision to appeal.

“Were going to suit up and show up,” she said. “We’re going to celebrate what’s been accomplished already.”

On the outskirts of the rally, four protesters quietly stood holding signs saying, “I support you Gov. Otter and Attorney General Wasden, Idaho voted, our vote should stand” and “My vote should count.”

“We were disappointed in Judge Dale’s decision,” said Sue Barclay of Nampa, who went to protest the rally with her son James. “The people of Idaho voted on this. Now I feel like our vote is being ignored.”

Follow this case: Latta v. Otter.

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