Idaho begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Idaho marriage

Rachael Beierle, left, and Amber Beierle kiss after being married by Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan at city hall in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. With Mayor Dave Bieter out of town, Jordan officiated the ceremony as acting mayor. The couple are among the plaintiffs who successfully challenged Idaho's gay marriage ban. Otto Kitsinger, AP

Idaho marriageOtto Kitsinger, AP

Shelia Robertson, center, and her son Bridger, bottom center, react at as the county recorder opens to issue same-sex marriage licenses at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Robertson and her partner Andrea Altmayer, left, partially hidden, were two of the eight women who sued over Idaho’s marriage ban.

BOISE, Idaho — Marriage equality arrived in one of the most conservative states in the nation Wednesday as more than 100 same-sex couples gathered early at the Boise courthouse and counted down the seconds before the clerk’s office opened to issue marriage licenses.

The couples cheered and streamed inside at 9 a.m. as Idaho became the latest state to recognize gay marriage in a burst of court rulings nationwide.

“It’s been such a long time coming,” Councilwoman Maryanne Jordan said. “It’s a historic day for Boise and Idaho.”

Idaho marriageOtto Kitsinger, AP

Rachael Beierle, left, and Amber Beierle kiss after being married by Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan at city hall in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. With Mayor Dave Bieter out of town, Jordan officiated the ceremony as acting mayor. The couple are among the plaintiffs who successfully challenged Idaho’s gay marriage ban.

Jordan officiated the marriages of four of the eight women who sued over Idaho’s gay marriage ban and were the first to get licenses in the state’s most-populous county.

A crowd sang out “here comes the brides” as Rachael and Amber Beierle and Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer headed toward City Hall.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden didn’t immediately issue new statements, but both Republicans had fought to maintain the state’s gay marriage ban, saying it was a matter of state’s rights and the will of voters.

The marriages came a day after Otter and Wasden ended their opposition to a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. They said they had done all they could for now to fight the case.

Doug Flanders, right, holds aloft his marriage license with his spouse Carmine Caruso outside the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.Otto Kitsinger, AP

Doug Flanders, right, holds aloft his marriage license with his spouse Carmine Caruso outside the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.

A same-sex couple leaves with their marriage license through a large crowd of supporters outside the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Ada County clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday morning. Otto Kitsinger, AP

A same-sex couple leaves with their marriage license through a large crowd of supporters outside the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Ada County clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday morning.

Idaho has become known for its conservative politics as Republicans control every statewide and congressional elected office and have an overwhelming majority in the state Legislature. This year’s Republican gubernatorial field featured ultra-conservative candidates, including one who legally changed his name to “Pro-Life.”

Robertson said she and her new wife had been worried about resistance, but were surprised to receive nothing but support since filing their lawsuit nearly a year ago.

“People see us for us first. They don’t go ‘Oh, that gay couple.’ They say, ‘Oh, it’s Sheila and Andrea,'” Robertson said. “Really, we’re just normal people. We pay our taxes, we go to work. Today we got married.”

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

This Story Filed Under

Comments