45 Moving Moments From The First Days Of Marriage Equality In Utah

After a judge struck down the state’s ban on equal marriage rights for same-sex couples Dec. 20, thousands rushed to get married across Utah, while the state’s governor continued his fight to halt the marriages in court.

1. Michael Ferguson and his husband Seth Anderson were the first same-sex couple to get married in the state of Utah, shortly after the Friday ruling in Salt Lake City.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

2. The couple proudly displayed their historic marriage license to media and onlookers at the county clerk’s office.

AP Photo/Kim Raff

3. And Ferguson showed off his ring to supporters at the county clerk’s office.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

4. Many more couples received licenses and married on the spot, like Kim Hackford-Peer and her spouse Ruth Hackford-Peer with their 7-year-old son at their side.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

5. They signed the marriage license moments before their marriage was officiated.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

6. Families — like this one — came together.

AP Photo/Kim Raff

7. Dozens of other couples embraced as they waited in line for their turn…

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

8. …and filled out the application for a marriage license, and then…

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

9. …that tearful moment when they’re married by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and cheered on by a crowd of supporters.

AP Photo/Kim Raff

10. The growing excitement while filling out the documents and paying the $40 application fee at the counter of the Salt Lake County clerk…

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

11. …and celebrating each step of the way like Elenor Heyborne and her partner Marina Gomberg —

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

12. — all led up to that kiss.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

13. This couple, Mimi Flower and Julie Kay, kissed while completing the paperwork. Why wait?

AP Photo/Kim Raff

14. Some celebrated at the county clerk’s counter.

AP Photo/Kim Raff

15. People clapped after Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge were officially declared married by Rev. Curtis L. Price.

AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Scott Sommerdorf

16. Mayor Becker stood by to marry several more couples, including Utah State Sen. Jim Dabakis and his partner of 27 years, Stephen Justesen.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

17. They waved to the crowd after Becker made their marriage official.

AP Photo/Kim Raff

18. Couple after couple made history on Friday like Lindi Gardiner and Joanna Barney…

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

19. …and Chris Serrano and Clifton Webb.

AP Photo/Kim Raff

20. But on Saturday, hopes were crushed when Utah’s Ogden County Clerk’s office canceled its special Saturday opening to issue marriage licenses.

AP photo/George Frey

21. Couples like John Jensenf and his partner, Jared Resor, left the clerk’s office empty-handed.

AP photo/George Frey

22. Ogden County Clerk Ricky Hatch said that county officials warned him that staging a special opening for same-sex couples to receive marriage licenses may violate constitutional guarantees of equal protection.

AP photo/George Frey

23. But on Monday morning, after an appeals court denied Gov. Gary Herbert’s request for an emergency halt to same-sex couples’ marriages, thousands of couples rushed to get married.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

24. Gage Church and Tim Sharp kissed after becoming one of the first same-sex couples to legally marry in Utah’s Weber County on Monday morning.

AP Photo/Standard-Examiner, Benjamin Zack

25. Supports watched as Patrick Freideman and his husband Spencer Freideman kissed in Ogden, Utah.

AP Photo/Standard-Examiner, Benjamin Zack

26. Meanwhile, a huge line formed outside the office of the Salt Lake County clerk early Monday morning…

AP Photo/Deseret News, Ravell Call

27. …and wrapped along several floors of the building.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

28. People watched other couples marry from above.

AP Photo/Deseret News, Ravell Call

29. Despite the early hour, excitement filled the halls and couples embraced as they waited.

AP Photo/Deseret News, Ravell Call

30. Heather Collins and her partner Jax Collins sat as they waited among the hundreds of other couples.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

31. But eventually their turn came…

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

32. …and they were overcome with emotion…

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

33. …and then that kiss.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

34. When it was over, they hugged amid the crowd, marriage certificate in hand.

AP Photo/Deseret News, Ravell Call

35. Well into the morning, dozens of couples in line at the Salt Lake County government building.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

36. More couples cuddled on the floor…

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

37. …while others — like Nathan London and his partner Alan Britton — exchanged rings.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

38. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced to the crowd that marriages can continue after a judge denied the governor’s appeal to halt them in court.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

39. With that, many more couples married, like Shauna Griffen and Brooke Shepherd.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

40. Griffen wiped tears from her eyes as her marriage was officiated.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

41. And then they displayed their rings.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

42. Newlyweds Angela Marinez and Monique Lobato took a moment to celebrate.

AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Francisco Kjolseth

43. But some couples had been waiting for this day longer than others, like Joyce Lewallen and her partner of 20 years, Lecia Johnson.

AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Francisco Kjolseth

44. And Andrea Dahl and Coral Mangus, who have been together for 25 years.

Jim Urquhart / Reuters

45. At last.

AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Francisco Kjolseth

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