The state of Arkansas created an exciting stir in the continued campaign to give same-sex couples the same marital rights and protection afforded heterosexual couples last week. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled a week ago that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.
The ruling was short-lived.
According The Boston Globe, Arkansas’s Attorney General Dustin McDaniel favors marriage rights for gay couples but vows to defend the state’s laws. How supportive can Attorney General Dustin McDaniel really be if he won’t uphold it when it matters the most? Arkansas passed a state constitutional amendment in 2004 defining marriage as only between a man and a women. McDaniel’s sought an emergency stay, as did lawyers for four other counties.
69 of 75 local officials declined to give out marriage licenses since Piazza’s ruling, most citing confusion over the change in policy, some just plain refusing to and a separate law that barred clerks from issuing same-sex marriage licenses remained on the books. (That’s very sneaky Arkansas, very sneaky.)
The last license was granted to Hilda Jones and Kerin Hartsell. They join more than 540 other couples.
The fate of same-sex marriage is now in the hands of Arkansas’s Supreme Court, though attorney Jack Wagoner stated optimistically, ‘The handwritings on the wall from the United States Supreme Court. Unless every court is reading the U.S. Supreme Court wrong, the days of barring same-sex couples from marrying are coming to an end.’’
Let’s hope that the courts of Arkansas decide not to leave these 540+ plus jilted at the altar and give the happy ending that the rest who couldn’t get licenses in time that happy ending they deserve.
For a general update on where state’s stand on same-sex marriage:
More Feminist Bride Articles on Marriage Equality: