TWIN FALLS, Idaho — For two gay couples in Idaho, the difference between joy and heartache was a matter of moments.
Don Moline and Clint Newlan were first in line at the Twin Falls County clerk’s office Wednesday morning, after a federal appellate court rejected Idaho’s ban on gay marriages the day before.
They got a marriage license, but then word came that the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked gay marriages in Idaho Wednesday morning. Ashley Owens and Brittany Dickerson were denied.
They broke down in sobs after a minor mistake and the unexpected order from Justice Anthony Kennedy halted their dreams of getting married before their unborn daughter arrived.
“We wanted to tell our baby that her mommies love each other as much as they love you that they got married so they can stay together forever,” Owens said in a telephone interview. “We wanted to tell Neveah that mommies got married while you were still in mommy’s tummy.”
Nearly a year ago, the two 19-year-olds became engaged. On their way to the clerk’s office they realized Owens had forgotten her Social Security card. By the time Dickerson got back, it was too late. The emergency stay putting same-sex weddings on hold was in place.
“I cried for almost 30 minutes in the county stairwell,” Owens said. “My hopes for my family were just crushed.”
Dickerson is 33-weeks pregnant, Owens said.
Moments before, the Twin Falls County clerk’s office had been congratulating Moline, 45, and Newlan, 58.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the two were the only known gay couple to have received a marriage license in the state. It’s unclear just how long the Supreme Court stay will remain in effect in Idaho.
Moline and Newman became engaged soon after they started dating eight years ago, but wanted to wait to get married until it was legal in Idaho.
“We’re really disappointed in the stay but yet we’re really happy,” Moline said. “We’ve come this far.”
The couple got the phone call at 7 a.m. Wednesday from the county clerk’s office in Twin Falls, about 120 miles southeast of Boise, telling them they could receive a marriage license.
“I looked at Clint and said, ‘Let’s go!'” Moline said.
They showed up wearing matching red T-shirts, light khaki shorts and black sandals. It’s a habit they started when they first started dating.
“We were in the right place at the right time,” Moline said.
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