Friday, May 16, 2014

They Held a Gay Marriage Rally Anyway

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 3:17 PM

click to enlarge About 200 people gathered at the steps of the Ada County Courthouse to show support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Idaho. - CHRIS COOKE
  • Chris Cooke
  • About 200 people gathered at the steps of the Ada County Courthouse to show support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Idaho.


The mood was "happy, but sad, but hopeful," according to rally organizer Emily Walton. She started planning the rally as soon as she heard that Idaho's same-sex marriage ban was struck down by a federal judge on May 13. More than 500 people RSVP'd on Facebook, many of whom were couples excited to finally have their partnership recognized by law. But plans changed May 15, when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay on the ruling, handed down by Judge Candy Dale.

But Walton didn't cancel the rally, and nearly 200 people still showed up and mingled from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Friday. The Flying M donated coffee and Pastry Perfection donated a sheet cake.

"We made a concerted effort to make sure it was still a party," Walton said. "I mean, it's frustrating, but it means something that we are still on this path for marriage equality in Idaho, and this still came a lot sooner than anyone predicted or thought."

A DJ spun tunes and folks–gay and straight alike–held banners and signs. LGBT rights organizations Add the Words and Add the 4 Words Idaho had a strong presence, and press photographers swarmed around the event. Walton said it wasn't an angry crowd, though there were a few protesters. One held a plywood board bearing the words "No same sex marages" in red spray paint. Walton said it didn't damper the mood.

She looks forward to the day when same-sex couples can walk into the Ada County Courthouse and get a marriage certificate in 10 minutes or so, like she did a few years ago. She said there will be another party then, too. 

"We will be able to celebrate," Walton said.

That party may not happen until the fall, though. Kristen Wilkinson, chief deputy of operations for the U.S. District Court in Boise, told Boise Weekly that several scheduling orders have been filed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, setting the time frame for the appeals to overturn Judge Dale's ruling that Idaho's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. Wilkinson said briefs are due in August and September.

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