- Associated Press - Saturday, October 11, 2014

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - A day after becoming one of Idaho’s first legally wed gay couples, Tabitha Simmons and Katherine Sprague were back at work at the comics store they own Saturday, relieved to finally have their union recognized by the state but eager for other counties to begin issuing the marriage licenses, too.

The pair rushed to the Latah County Courthouse on Friday after hearing that the U.S. Supreme Court would allow gay marriages in the state to proceed. Other county clerks declined to immediately issue marriage licenses to waiting couples - citing advice from the state attorney general’s office that a final order from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was needed first.

But Latah County’s clerk, Susan Petersen, said she got the green light from the county prosecutor’s office. Simmons and Sprague were first in line, obtained their marriage license and hustled outside to the courthouse lawn, where they were married by the Rev. Elizabeth Stevens, of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse. Then they rushed back inside to turn in their documents.

“I was jubilant,” Simmons told The Associated Press on Saturday. “We have waited so long for this opportunity.”

Petersen said she issued six marriage licenses late Friday afternoon. According to Sprague, five of the couples were married on the courthouse lawn Friday afternoon.

A federal judge struck down Idaho’s gay marriage ban in May, but the appeals court issued a stay at the request of Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, who has said he needed to be “faithful to my oath of office and keep working to protect the Idaho Constitution and the mandate of Idaho voters in support of traditional marriage.”

On Friday, at the end of a hectic week of gay-marriage developments around the country, the Idaho plaintiffs asked the appeals court to dissolve the stay. The 9th Circuit ordered the governor’s office to respond to the motion by noon on Monday - a federal holiday - and said the plaintiffs could file a reply to that by 5 p.m.

In the meantime, no further marriage licenses were expected to be issued before county clerks’ offices reopen Tuesday morning.

“Somebody has to go first and I’m happy to do it,” Simmons said. “But in some respects there’s a little bit of guilt - people around the state have been working so hard for this. My heart goes out to all the people who have to wait with uncertainty all weekend long.”

As for being back at work the day after her marriage, Simmons wasn’t fazed. Saturday’s a busy day at the shop, and she and Sprague had long considered themselves married. They had their first wedding ceremony in 1991, though it wasn’t recognized by the state.

“We’ll have a big celebration after Thanksgiving,” Simmons said. “We’ll take a few days off then.”

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