Marriage certificates for same-sex couples are expected to be issued throughout Idaho this coming Wednesday, Oct. 15.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has taken away the final legal barrier, ultimately voiding Idaho's ban of same-sex marriages.
"Plaintiff-Appellees' motion to dissolve the stay is granted, effective at 9 a.m. PDT (10 a.m. Mountain Time), Wednesday, October 15, 2014," wrote the 9th Circuit Monday afternoon.
“Today’s order means that two days from now, all Idahoans will have the freedom to marry. At long last, all Idaho families will enjoy the dignity, security, and protection that marriage provides. We thank the brave plaintiff couples who had the courage to challenge these exclusionary laws and congratulate them on this historic victory,” wrote Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
The 9th Circuit denied Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's final request,
filed earlier Monday, for a so-called "en banc" hearing of all 11 9th Circuit judges, or a further stay "to seek, in a fair and orderly way."
It was in May of this year that U.S. District Court Judge Candy Dale wrote that "Idaho law denied same-sex couples the "economic, practical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of marriage, relegating each couple to a stigmatized, second-class status. Plaintiffs suffer these injuries not because they are unqualified to marry, start a family, or grow old together, but because of who they are and whom they love."
But Otter, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Ada County Clerk Chris Rich took their defense of Idaho's ban of same-sex marriages to the 9th Circuit for another round of arguments in September. The 9th Circuit shot down that request, triggering a flurry of motions and counter-motions that involved federal judges on both coasts.
Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court opted not to weigh in on the matter, allowing the 9th Circuit to have the final say.
And the final word is that wedding bells for same-sex couples will indeed ring in Idaho this week.