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SCOTUS Lifts Stay on Idaho Gay Marriages

BOISE, Idaho (CN) - In a two-sentence statement, the U.S. Supreme Court late Friday lifted the stay on same-sex marriages in Idaho ordered by Justice Anthony Kennedy earlier this week.

The high court denied Idaho's application for the stay but had no further comment.

The stay came after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage earlier this week. A three-judge panel for the court said the ban stigmatized families and called it "illogical, unjust and unconstitutional."

A large crowd gathered at the Ada County Courthouse just minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted its stay on gay marriages in Idaho. Many hoped to obtain marriage licenses before the court closed at 5 p.m., but were disappointed to hear they won't get the chance until Tuesday of next week.

"I just spoke with the Attorney General's office and they indicated that nothing has come down from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals," said Ada County Clerk Christopher D. Rich, addressing the crowd.

"There is no mandate, the stay is in place," he said. "If something was going to happen, if things were to change, it would be Tuesday."

Rich added that he must wait for the Idaho Attorney General "to say 'go ahead and issue,' otherwise nothing happens."

The Ada County Courthouse is closed Monday, Oct. 13 in observance of Columbus Day.

Meanwhile, gay and lesbian couples vowed to be back, some of them when the courthouse opens again on Tuesday at 8 a.m.

"This has really been a rollercoaster for us," said Michelle Smith (shown in the photo above), whose partner wished to remain anonymous for fear of losing her job. "We just wanted to get in here today before they closed. There was a bit of 'I don't believe this going to happen today,' but if not today next week."

Smith added: "We've been waiting for this for 18 years, we can wait another few days."

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