U.S. News


Arkansas Couple Receives State's First Gay Marriage License

A judge in Little Rock declared Arkansas' gay marriage ban unconstitutional Friday. The state's attorney general is expected to appeal.
Posted at 2:08 PM, May 10, 2014

A clerk issued Arkansas' first marriage license for a gay couple Saturday morning — less than 24 hours after a Little Rock judge declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

"We had the expectation of Arkansas being one of the least likely states for this to have been approved in. Just one more reason to be proud of our state." (Via KTHV)

USA Today reports a clerk in northern Arkansas issued the first license to two women from the town of Fort Smith. It comes 10 years after voters had approved a constitutional amendment that had banned gay marriage in the state.

According to Little Rock's KARK, the Arkansas attorney general's office has already announced plans to appeal the judge's decision. As of Saturday morning, an appeal hadn't been made yet.

And the executive director of the Arkansas Family Council told KATV he's not pleased with the judge's decision. His main argument is that the ruling goes against what the majority of the state's voters wanted.

The judge, though, argued the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violated the rights of those couples. The judge pointed to a similar ban in the state on interracial marriage that was struck down in the 1960s.

Bloomberg points out Arkansas is the fifth state where bans on gay marriage have been ruled unconstitutional since December. However, marriages have been on hold in Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan and Virginia as those decisions are being appealed.

The state's attorney general has actually voiced his support of same-sex marriage, but he says he'll appeal the decision because it goes against Arkansas' constitution.