Live Blog: Making History, Same-Sex Couples Marry In Idaho

Oct 15, 2014

This post was updated at 4:15 p.m.

At least 53 marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples across Idaho. In a random sample of Idaho counties, it appears Ada has issued the most so far, with 35 licenses.

By mid-afternoon Canyon and Twin Falls counties each issued five. Three have been issued in Kootenai County. There were two same-sex licenses issued in Blaine County, and one each in Bannock and Custer counties. Latah County issued one same-sex marriage license today, but last week it had already issued seven.

Officials in the recorders offices in Lemhi, Idaho and Elmore counties said by 2:30 this afternoon, they hadn't issued any.

This post was updated at 12:55 p.m.

Same-sex couples across Idaho are making history today as they fill out marriage licenses and get legally married.

John Saxton, 54, and David Grigg, 55, are one of those couples. They're Idaho natives and have been together for 21 years.

For both men, the idea of being allowed to legally marry is something difficult to wrap their minds around. "Gay marriage was not something you even thought about back in 1993," Saxton says. "So for it to have come as far as it has, to me, is almost mind boggling. It’s awesome and all that, but it’s almost incomprehensible. You just have to pinch yourself.”

Grigg assumed same-sex marriage would become legal in Idaho eventually, but not before most states had legalized it. Saxton and Grigg say being married now means they have more security, financially and otherwise.

"The uncertainty of what might happen if one of us passed away before the other…I think this just makes it that much more sure," Grigg says.

“Knowing that it’s secure, knowing that it can’t be contested just because we aren’t married partners," Saxton says. "You hear horror stories. We all have. Fortunately, after today, that’s not going to be a problem for us.”

This post was updated at 11:10 a.m.

Lyndsey and Tiffany Davis are friends of Amber and Rachael Beierle. They traveled to Boise from Canada to celebrate the Beierle's wedding day.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Amber and Rachael Beierle are now officially married.

The pair joined dozens of other same-sex couples at the Ada County Courthouse this morning to receive marriage licenses after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 7 paved the way for same-sex unions to begin.

Idaho's 2006 voter approved constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was taken to court by the Beierles,  Susan Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori and Sharene Watsen, and Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer.

Kari Whitsitt and Wendi Trottier leave the Ada County courthouse with their marriage license in hand.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 10:30 a.m.

In the first 20 minutes same-sex marriage was legal in Idaho, about a dozen couples received marriage licenses in Ada County, according to Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell.

Kari Whitsitt and Wendi Trottier have been together for 17 years.

"It feels very validating and real because we’ve been together for 17 years," they told KBSX last week. "So we had a ceremony 17 years ago and now this just makes it real to other people. It’s very real to us already."

This post was updated at 10:15 a.m.

Same-sex marriage ceremonies are now underway across Idaho.

This post was updated at 10:08 a.m.

As same-sex marriages legally begin in Idaho, there is no visible opposition at the Ada County Courthouse.

Idaho is now printing two marriage license forms. One says bride and groom, the other says spouse and spouse.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Officials say they haven't added extra security for this first day of legal gay marriage in Idaho.

Ada County's Phil McGrane says the long line of couples waiting to get their marriage licenses will slow down how quickly staff can issue licenses. It typically takes about 15 minutes per couple.

Idaho is now offering two forms to couples getting a marriage license. One says spouse and spouse, the other says bride and groom.

This post was updated at 10:00 a.m.

Amber and Rachael Beierle, two of the eight plaintiffs who sued Idaho to strike down the state's same-sex marriage ban are filling out their paperwork for a marriage license.

The couple is all smiles this morning.

Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Just before 10 a.m., the pair were talking with their lawyer about sitting in her office almost exactly one year ago trying to figure out just how long it would take for their case to work through the court system.

This post was updated at 9:40 a.m.

Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A crowd has started gathering in front of the Ada County Courthouse where same-sex couples will be legally allowed to marry beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Many non-couples are also in attendance to support the people who've fought to strike down Idaho's gay marriage ban.

The Boise Gay Men's Chorus is providing some entertainment on the plaza.

This post was updated at 9:27 a.m.

Same-sex weddings are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. at Boise's City Hall. Amber and Rachael Beierle are scheduled to be the first couple married by acting Boise Mayor Maryanne Jordan. Mayor Dave Bieter is out of town.

The weddings at city hall will continue until 5:00 p.m. this afternoon.

The Beierles have arrived at the Ada County Courthouse and will go inside to get their marriage license at 10:00 MST.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

After eight days of court appeals and uncertainty, Rachael Beierle says "I'm ready to predict it. It's going to happen today."

This story was originally posted at 9:10 a.m.

Eight days ago the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling striking down Idaho's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

After more than a week of back-and-forth within the judicial system, this morning, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, same-sex couples across Idaho will be legally allowed to marry.

Two of the eight women who sued Idaho in Nov. 2013 in an attempt to strike down the same-sex marriage ban, are at home writing their vows this morning.

Amber and Rachael have become the public face of the effort to strike down Idaho's gay marriage ban.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Amber Beierle and Rachael (Robertson) Beierle have been together for three years. After the yearlong legal fight, both hope today is the day they get married.

"We've tried this so many times it's hard to believe it's really happening," says Rachael. "But I had so many messages thanking us that's when it hit me it's really happening. Now, I'm excited."

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