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Couples rally for same-sex marriage in Idaho Falls

Several same-sex couples who’d planned on tying the knot instead attended a last-minute rally in support of same-sex marriage on the steps of the Bonneville County Courthouse Friday morning.

Tuesday federal judge Candy Dale struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling it unconstitutional and on Wednesday denied Gov. Butch Otter’s request for an appeal.

Same-sex marriages would have been allowed starting 9 a.m. Friday had the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals not granted Otter’s request for an emergency stay Thursday.

“It’s been an emotional roller coaster ride. First it’s on and then it’s off,” said Roma Hawkins, who had hoped to marry her partner of three years.

Laurie Gaffney, an Idaho Falls-based attorney, said the stay could be lifted.

“They could lift it at any moment, and so we could be back to where we were supposed to be this morning at 9 a.m. at any minute — or not,” said Gaffney.

Gaffney said the same-sex marriage debate will likely end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Same-sex couples remain optimistic.

“We want our state to know that we’re not going away and that we trust in the legal process, that we know that this is only a bump in the road and that we will prevail. We know we will,” said Kristi Brower, who organized Friday’s rally.

“This isn’t some hideous thing that’s going to destroy our community. It truly is about love and being able to be with the person you choose to marry,” said Hawkins.

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