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Case 1:13-cv-00482-CWD Document 54 Filed 02/18/14 Page 1 of 7

Deborah A. Ferguson, ISB No. 5333 The Law Office of Deborah A. Ferguson, PLLC 202 N. 9th Street, Suite 401 C Boise, Idaho 83702 Tel.: (208) 484-2253 Craig Harrison Durham, ISB No. 6428 Durham Law Office, PLLC 405 S. 8th Street, Ste. 372 Boise, ID 83702 Tel.: (208) 345-5183 Shannon P. Minter Christopher F. Stoll National Center for Lesbian Rights 870 Market Street, Suite 370 San Francisco, California 94102 Tel.: (415) 392-6257 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


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I, Amber Beierle, hereby declare and state as follows: 1. I am one of the Plaintiffs in this action, along with my life partner,

Rachael Robertson. I am 33 years old and have lived in Idaho since birth. I have personal knowledge of the matters stated in this Declaration and could and would competently testify to these facts. 2. I was raised in rural Canyon County near Huston, Idaho. In 1996, when I

was a child, my parents divorced, and I lived with my mother. 3. As a teenager, I was a member of the Free Methodist Church and went on

two mission trips to Mexico, sang in the church choir, and was a church youth group leader. 4. I attended high school in the Vallivue School District, graduating in 1999.

As a child and teenager, I was very active and engaged. My peers selected me to be a member of Natural Helpers, a peer counselor program. I lettered for four years in softball and was voted Most Inspirational by my teammates for three years. I served as class president my senior year and participated in student council as class representative for the three preceding years. My senior year, I was selected for the Homecoming Court and received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award and the Jacobs Memorial Award for Most Inspirational Female Athlete (Class of 1999). 5. In 2004, I earned my B.A. in History, Secondary Education at Boise State

University. I lived with my mother through most of college and graduate school, commuting from Canyon County to Boise. I left home at age twenty-four when I was chosen to participate in the inaugural Graduate Residential Scholar Program at Boise State University. While I completed my graduate degree in Applied Historical Research,

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I served as the first City Historian for the City of Boise. In 2007, I earned my M.A. in Applied Historical Research. 6. Since 2009, I have been the Education Specialist and Visitor Services

Coordinator at the Old Idaho Penitentiary, which is an Idaho historic site, managed by the Idaho State Historical Society. The Historic Society was created in 1881 and established as a state agency in 1907. Our mission is to use historic resources to benefit Idahoans and to provide dynamic public programs in education, preservation and stewardship. I love my work. I believe that history can inform our present decisions and that understanding history prepares us for a better future. My position allows me to be involved in policy decisions concerning Idahos historic resources and city and state planning, and I find my job to be very rewarding. 7. When I was hired at the Idaho State Historical Society I did not reveal that

I was a lesbian. At first, I was careful in what names and pronouns I used to describe my partner at work. I was very aware that as a state employee I was not protected from termination due to my sexual orientation. I have since, however, come out about my sexual orientation at work, and my supervisor and colleagues know I am a lesbian. I am relieved that it has not been used against me. 8. Both Rachael and I volunteer for many organizations in the community. I

am a member of the History Committee for the Boise City Department of Arts and History. The History Committee helps the department plan events like the Boise Sesquicentennial and Fettuccine Forum lecture series. The History Committee also assists in public art and history projects with research and writing. Since 2010, I also have served on the board of the Boise Museum Association. I teach history workshops for the

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College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs at Boise State University. I have conducted lectures for Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lyons Clubs, as well as the Idaho Botanical Garden. 9. I accepted that I am a lesbian at age twenty-four, after I left home. When I

shared this information with my family, it took nearly two years for them to understand that my sexual orientation as a lesbian was not a phase or something I would outgrow. But once my family understood that this is a fundamental part of who I am, they accepted and supported me. I believe that not having my familys support would have been devastating to me, and I am grateful to have it. Today, my parents, siblings, and extended family support my relationship with Rachael. They are counselors and confidants for us, and they believe in our relationship. They do not want me to be anyone except my real self, and they love and support us and can see that Rachael helps me to be the best version of myself. 10. Rachael and I met through mutual friends in 2006. Our paths crossed

several times in various places for the next four years. In January 2011, I decided to reach out to Rachael. I had no idea if she was dating anyone, but I took a chance. I contacted her and asked if she and her family wanted a tour of the Old Idaho Penitentiary, a historic site where I work. 11. We officially became a couple on Valentines Day 2011, and we have

never looked back. I knew she was my one. She makes me laugh every single day. She helps me to see myself through her eyes as adored, admired, and loved. We both want to have children, and each of us was uncompromising in finding a partner who wanted the same thing. We share our faith in God and all the goals that truly matter in life to us. Together we have joined Saint Michaels Episcopal Church in Boise, where we are active

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members. We have started planning our family and look forward to having children. We would like to get married before we have children. I do not want our children growing up thinking that there is something wrong with their family or having difficulty understanding the integrity or closeness of their family because their parents cannot get married. 12. Our parents and siblings recognize and support our relationship. They

have expressed to us their belief in marriage equality and their sadness that we face discrimination because we are a same sex couple. 13. Rachael and I had a commitment ceremony in Boise on April 16, 2012.

However, we still deeply wish to marry, so that we can make a legally binding commitment to one another, affirm that commitment before our family and friends, and have the legal protections and security that marriage provides. 14. I want to legally marry Rachael in Idaho. Aside from the obvious legal

protections marriage offers, marriage is a public promise of a personal commitment to last a lifetime. To me, deciding whom to marry is one of the most important decisions in life, and being able to make a legally binding commitment enables a couple to solidify their bond. While we dont need a marriage license to know love and a strong commitment, we deeply wish to experience the unique bond that marriage makes possible, as well as the safety net of benefits and responsibilities that allow legally married couples to take care of one another and function as legal family unit. We make our decisions together, and we should not have to take complicated measures that other couples do not have to take to ensure that our financial security and end-of-life decisions are honored because we are the same gender.

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We have considered obtaining a marriage license in another state to secure

federal protections, but have not done so because we are Idahoans. We intend to live our lives in Idaho. We want our family recognized here, at home. As law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, we want to marry in our home state. 16. We bought a house together in December 2012. We attempted to get a

mortgage through the Veterans Administration because of Rachaels status as a veteran, but the agency indicated that it would not allow me to be on the mortgage with Rachael. Instead, we took out a traditional loan, in my name. I then filed a Quit Claim deed transferring the property to both of us, to ensure Rachaels was also on the title to our home. 17. If Rachael and I were married, I could provide health insurance coverage

for her on my state employee plan. We would like the property we have acquired together to be community property. We would like to file joint tax returns, and to be considered as one anothers spouse for visitation purposes at medical institutions and to be able to make decisions for one another, in the event one of us were incapacitated 18. On November 6, 2013, Rachael and I went to the Ada County Recorder at

the Ada County Clerks Office in Boise to apply for a marriage license. Other than the fact that Rachael and I are both women, we meet all the legal requirements for marriage in Idaho. The Recorders office did not issue us a license, and the experience of being denied a license was demeaning. The Recorders office employee stated that it would be contrary to Idaho Code, and we were turned away. 19. As a family, as life partners, and as life-long Idahoans, Rachael and I want

to have the same freedom as opposite-sex couples to marry the person we love and to

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share in the benefits and responsibilities of marriage and in the recognition and protections of marriage. I sign this Declaration under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States. DATED the 13th day of February 2014.

_______/s/____________ Amber Beierle