Idaho begins issuing same-sex marriage licenses

By Kimberlee Kruesi Associated Press

Boise, Idaho — Same-sex couples in Idaho counted down the final seconds and then cheered as Ada County clerks began issuing them marriage licenses Wednesday morning.

More than 100 people were gathered at the courthouse in Boise to mark the occasion as Idaho became the latest state to begin recognizing gay marriage in the wake of a series of court rulings nationwide.

Both Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden had fiercely opposed a court ruling earlier this year overturning Idaho's gay marriage ban, but both officials said Tuesday that they felt they had done what they could in the courts for now.

They ended their opposition to a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that ordered the state to begin issuing marriage licenses at 9 a.m. PDT Wednesday.

Rachael and Amber Beierle, two of the eight women who sued over Idaho's marriage ban, were the first to get a license in Ada County. They were followed by Sheila Robertson and Andrea Altmayer, who were also plaintiffs in the case.

As the crowd sung out "Here Comes the Brides," the two couples then headed for Boise's City's Hall, where they were set to get married by Councilwoman Maryanne Jordan.

"I'm honored," Jordan said. "It's been such a long time coming. It's a historic day for Boise and Idaho."