NEW: 9th Circuit Court temporarily halts Idaho same-sex marriages

newsroom@idahostatesman.comMay 15, 2014 

— The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's request for a temporary stay while it considers the state's request for a longer stay pending appeal of the lower court's ruling overturning Idaho same-sex marriage ban.

"The district court's May 13, 2014 order is temporarily stayed pending this court's disposition of appellants' emergency motions for a stay pending appeal," declared the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in an order released shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday.

The temporary stay will remain in effect until the 9th Circuit Court decides whether to issue a full stay pending appeal.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale on Tuesday struck down Idaho's 2006 constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages. Her order was to take effect 9 a.m. Friday.

The 9th Circuit Court gave no indication how long it would take it to consider the motion for a stay pending appeal, according to the Idaho Attorney General's Office, which has begun notifying counties that no same-sex marriage licenses can be issued until the court decides whether to extend the stay.

"I appreciate the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stepping in to ensure Idaho will not have to endure the same kind of chaos and confusion that Utah faced after a similar lower-court decision. Today's ruling stays the federal magistrate's order and maintains the status of marriage as defined by the Idaho Constitution - between one man and one woman. Meanwhile, I am proceeding with an aggressive challenge in the appellate court. I'm hopeful for a better outcome, but in any event I am committed to defending our Constitution and the will of Idaho voters," said Otter in a written statement.

Meanwhile, a "marriage equality" party that Boise woman Emily Walton planned for Friday - with donated cake and coffee - at the Ada County Courthouse will still happen, even though it won't be as much of a celebration, Walton said Thursday.

"It'll be more like a protest with cake," she said. "I think the joy of the party won't be there because this really is about celebrating with people who should be able to get married, and now they can't. But Idahoans are ever hopeful that this will happen. And it will. It's just going to take a little more time."

Kiely and Jenna Prouty-Porter were married in New York two years ago. They planned to have an Idaho ceremony Friday morning, conducted by Boise Mayor David Bieter. Now, they'll just get an early start on a trip out of town to see family, Kiely Prouty-Porter said. 

Kiely Prouty-Porter admitted she and Jenna are disappointed with Thursday's development, but the feeling's not that bad. 

"We felt like we were home for the first time in our lives. That's part of why I'm not crushed today, and why neither of us is crushed. Because we found out there are people like Judge Candy Dale in Idaho. There really is something about having someone in power fighting for you ... a feeling that you just don't even know what that's going to be until you have it," she said. "As the little person or the person who's been sort of disadvantaged or whatever, you get used to that, and you find strength in other ways. But when someone higher than you actually stands up for you, whoa. It was a crazy feeling. So I think I'm still high on that, honestly."

Check back to IdahoStatesman.com for more details.

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