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Idaho Gay Rights Supporters Hope Gay Marriage Marks New Direction

Otto Kitsinger
AP Photo
Shelia Robertson, center, and her son Bridger, bottom center, react at as the county recorder opens at 10 a.m. to issue same-sex marriage licenses at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.

Same-sex couples across Idaho headed to county courthouses Wednesday, the first official day of legal gay marriage in the state since a court overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.

In Boise, there was a long line of couples at the Ada County courthouse. Among them were some of the plaintiffs who took the state to court for refusing to marry them.

To the north in Coeur d’Alene, even before the first same-sex couple arrived, a small crowd gathered outside the recorder’s office. Tim Leadingham came because he has a son who’s gay.

“Just in case there were people here protesting, I wanted to show support,” said Leadingham, who is part of a newly-formed Coeur d’Alene chapter of PFLAG, a support group for gays and lesbians as well as their friends and families.

The order from the 9th Circuit court of appeals to begin gay marriage came after a week of legal wrangling. Kiley Keith says she hopes the change in the law will change Idaho’s image as a difficult place for gay, lesbian and transsexual people to live.

“You know, I have friends and stuff that live out of state, and it’s kind of just the way they view it. And it’s really nice to just see Idaho moving in the right direction. It’s awesome,” she said.

The federal court overturned a law voters passed in 2006 that said marriage is only between a man and a woman.

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping places east of the Cascades.