BOISE, Idaho (CN) - Hundreds gathered today at the Ada County Recorder's office, cheering with jubilation as the first gay and lesbian couples in Boise received licenses to marry.
Some of the couples exited the building with tears in their eyes as well the licenses in their hands, but emotional outpourings are after all common at weddings.
"I would say this is probably the same exhilaration that heterosexual couples feel when they get married," Carry Whitfitt, of Boise, said just moments before clerks at the courthouse began issuing same-sex marriage licenses at 10 a.m.
"It also means we are afforded the legal benefits of marriage that other people are afforded right now, such as insurance, death rights and such, all the things most people take for granted," Whitfitt added.
Ada County Clerk Christopher Rich instructed deputies to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples in compliance with a Columbus Day order by the 9th Circuit.
As licenses were handed out this morning, the 9th Circuit gave Idaho another route to preserve its ban.
"We have determined to exercise our discretion to afford the state a second opportunity to obtain an emergency stay of our order from the Supreme Court, even though we see no possible basis for such a stay," the unsigned opinion states. "For that reason, our order of Oct. 13, 2014 is not made effective until 9 a.m. PDT on Oct. 15, 2014. Otherwise, we have determined that the stay of the district court's order enjoining enforcement of Idaho's same-sex marriage bans shall be dissolved and have entered the order of this court to that effect."
Crowds began gathering early this morning, before the Ada County Courthouse had opened its doors, and some are rumored to have slept over night waiting for the doors to open.
"We've lived in Boise for about 40 years and we've been waiting to get married for 17 years," Whitfitt's partner, Wendy Trottier, said. "For me it all winds down to enduring love. The fact that we had to fight to have the legal recognition that we are a legitimate couple, and we had to wait, and we did. We are hitting that 17th year with the same stride of love we had in the beginning, and an even stronger love than we've ever had. So if there is ever any question, 'is this a legitimate union?' Absolutely, without a doubt."
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