Couples Anxious to Grab First Idaho Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

by and

Rachael and Amber Beirle - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Rachael and Amber Beirle

It took little time for same-sex couples to begin queuing up at the Ada County Courthouse to secure a marriage license as the U.S. Supreme Court began clearing the way for same-sex marriages. 

Among those at the Boise courthouse were were Rachael and Amber Beirle (above): they were one of three couples who took their challenge of Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage to federal court and then the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 9th Circuit. In both instances, there were victorious, with federal judges ruling that Idaho's ban of same-sex unions was unconstitutional. 

When U.S. District Court Judge Candy Dale ruled in May that it was unconstitutional, Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter appealed to the 9th Circuit in September. When the 9th Circuit agreed with Dale that the ban was unconstitutional, Otter then turned to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who agreed to a temporary stay, putting same-sex marriages on hold. When the full U.S. Supreme Court vacated Kennedy's stay, Idaho's same-sex couples cheered again. But now, those same couples and officials at county courthouses throughout Idaho were waiting for one more clarification from the 9th Circuit that they could indeed begin processing marriage licenses.

Another couple, Mistie Tolman and Karen McMillan (below) at the Ada County Courthouse on Friday told Boise Weekly that had been engaged for three years and have been waiting for their out-of-state marriage, performed on September 13th, to be finally recognized in Idaho.

"it (the ruling) means not feeling like a second-class citizen anymore," said McMillan.

"it's a fear that has been taken off of our shoulders," Tolman told BW. "Once it's official, it can't be taken away."

Mistie Tolman and Karen McMillan - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Mistie Tolman and Karen McMillan