Marriage Equality Comes to Arkansas…Yes, Arkansas

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marriage equality

 

Arguing that there was “no rational reason” for denying same-sex couples the right to marry, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza overthrew Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage Friday. The judge did not mince words in striking down the state ban. He struck down the voter approved amendment banning gay marriages with strong words:

This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality. The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.

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He went on to draw parallels between the current ban on same-sex marriages and the historical ban on inter-racial marriages, stating:

It has been over 40 years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice. The hatred and fears have long since vanished and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples. It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it.

Furthermore, the judge did not stay the ruling, so couples will be eligible to obtain marriage licenses in many counties as soon as Monday morning.

The judge’s ruling overturns Amendment 83 to the state’s constitution which voters passed in 2004 by a three to one margin. Ten years later, a majority of Arkansas voters still oppose marriage equality, although voters under 30 years of age, favor marriage equality by a substantial 53-32 margin.

The judge’s ruling makes Arkansas the lone state that Mitt Romney carried in 2012, where gay marriage is currently legal. Gay marriage bans were also ruled unconstitutional in Oklahoma and Utah, but those rulings were stayed pending state appeals so same-sex marriages are not currently being performed in either state. Today, Arkansas, of all places, finds itself on the right side of history thanks to Judge Piazza’s landmark ruling.

 

7 Replies to “Marriage Equality Comes to Arkansas…Yes, Arkansas”

  1. I can well imagine that the anti-gay republicans in Arkansas are totally freaking out tonight. It wouldn’t surprise me if a high-ranking GOPTPer isn’t on the phone with the attorney general and already making plans to appeal to a higher court at 9:00 AM sharp on Monday morning.

  2. Arkansas did give us Bill Clinton. There are pockets of progressivism in Arkansas it just needs to be brought out more.

  3. I am so glad.
    GGay people are NO DIFFERENT than straight people. They have a natural feeling of liking and wanting to be with the same sex. Who they like is only one small characteristic of the person they are. No one comes to a man holding hands with a woman and dares ask or judge what they do in the privacy of their home, just like no one has the right to judge what a girl holding hands with a girl does. If you have a relative you have loved all your life come up to you with tears flowing SCARED to tell you the like/love someone that happens to be the same sex you will know that person is JUST LIKE YOU and you have no right to tell them God hates them. Please read the bible and find your sin in the bible. I promise you it’s there. I believe people have this deep need to hate and judge SOMEONE or SOMETHING to make them feel like they are ok and not a sinner in some way. God loves.

  4. If you disagree you have that right. This is not about what you believe religiously. No one is asking to rewrite the bible. MAN has declared that church and state are separate and therefore, every human should be able to legally declare their bond with another and get to share in the LEGAL benefits of doing so such as insurance and benefits. This is not a moral issue. The moral issue is within the people who spew hate. Somehow they think this will change who a person is naturally inclined to like. Or make them come to Jesus?!? Jesus accepts all. ALL. And not ONE place in the bible does it declare ONE SINGLE MAN the judge of another. God is our judge. The people who hate have a void of love within themselves that hate fills for them. I pray for the people that are consumed by tearing down another.

  5. So one would think. Unfortunately, they just don’t seem to be that quick on the uptake.

    Maybe some will eventually open their minds a crack once they realize the sky isn’t falling, western civilization hasn’t failed, and hell hasn’t frozen over by allowing same-sex couples to tie the knot.

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