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1:13-cv-00482 #49

1:13-cv-00482 #49

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc 49 - Declaration of Traci Ehlers
Doc 49 - Declaration of Traci Ehlers

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Published by: Equality Case Files on Feb 23, 2014
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 Deborah A. Ferguson, ISB No. 5333 The Law Office of Deborah A. Ferguson, PLLC 202 N. 9
th
 Street, Suite 401 C Boise, Idaho 83702 Tel.: (208) 484-2253 d@fergusonlawmediation.com Craig Harrison Durham, ISB No. 6428 Durham Law Office, PLLC 405 S. 8th Street, Ste. 372 Boise, ID 83702 Tel.: (208) 345-5183 craig@chdlawoffice.com Shannon P. Minter Christopher F. Stoll  National Center for Lesbian Rights 870 Market Street, Suite 370 San Francisco, California 94102 Tel.: (415) 392-6257 sminter@nclrights.org Attorneys for Plaintiffs
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO
SUSAN LATTA and TRACI EHLERS, LORI WATSEN and SHARENE WATSEN, SHELIA ROBERTSON and ANDREA ALTMAYER, AMBER BEIERLE and RACHAEL ROBERTSON, Plaintiffs, v. C.L. "BUTCH" OTTER, as Governor of the State of Idaho, in his official capacity, and CHRISTOPHER RICH, as Recorder of Ada County, Idaho, in his official capacity, Defendants. Case No. 1:13-cv-00482-CWD
DECLARATION OF PLAINTIFF TRACI ELHERS IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Case 1:13-cv-00482-CWD Document 49 Filed 02/18/14 Page 1 of 6
 
1 I, Traci Ehlers, hereby declare and state as follows: 1. I am one of the Plaintiffs in this action, along with my wife, Susan Latta, and I have personal knowledge of the matters stated in this Declaration and could and would competently testify to these facts. 2. I am 50 years old and live in Idaho in the Treasure Valley, where I have resided for 38 years. I co-own a small local business. 3. I was born in Torrance, California. My family moved when I was three to Salt Lake City, Utah, near my paternal grandparents, where we lived until I was twelve. We moved to Idaho in 1976, and my father died the following year. My mom and stepfather raised me until I graduated from Meridian High School in Meridian, Idaho in 1982, and I moved out of my parent’s home at age 18. 4. In 1984, I started working at Western Trophy & Engraving, Inc., a small  business in Boise Idaho. When I began working there, my stepfather’s long-time friend owned it. I learned the business under his guidance and was able to become a co-owner. My business supports the community by donating resources to and partnering on events and fundraisers with various non-profit organizations that support law enforcement, the military, women’s causes, and health initiatives. 5. I have known since elementary school that I am a lesbian, but I didn’t fully come out to others until I was in my 20’s. There was strong stigma attached to  being gay or lesbian at the time, and I was fearful of how I would be treated. When I did finally have the courage to tell my family about my sexual orientation, they expressed acceptance of me. My mom was supportive and respectful of the women I dated.
Case 1:13-cv-00482-CWD Document 49 Filed 02/18/14 Page 2 of 6
 
2 6. My wife Sue and I met one another through a book club. We started dating in 2003, approximately a year and a half after meeting. I volunteered to help her install one of her sculptures in Hailey, Idaho. We had a twelve-hour conversation that day, and it cemented our friendship. Eventually the friendship evolved into a relationship, and we  built, and continue to build, on honest and open dialogue. Sue has often said that she  believes that the key to a successful relationship is to find someone that you really like and then fall in love. And that is exactly what Sue and I did. 7. I asked Sue me to marry me in 2004. She said “yes.” The next year we moved into my house while we renovated her house. We then sold my house and together  purchased her house from her mother in 2006. 8. When Sue and I decided to get married, I officially came out to my grandmother, who was 88 years old at the time and who has always been an important  person in my life. She expressed love and acceptance of us, and she has treated Sue like one of her grandchildren. 9. In 2006, Sue and I had a meaningful, but not legally binding wedding celebration in Boise with approximately 180 friends and family in attendance. We had amazing support on both sides of our families, with relatives attending from California,  Nevada, Utah, Illinois, Oklahoma and Maryland to hear our vows and help us celebrate our lifelong commitment to each other. We had our ceremony because we wanted all the  people in our lives that we love and that love us to recognize the commitment we had made to our relationship. The ceremony was very meaningful for us, but there was still something important missing because we were not legally considered a family.
Case 1:13-cv-00482-CWD Document 49 Filed 02/18/14 Page 3 of 6

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