Monday, May 12, 2014

State Court Invalidates Arkansas Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

In Wright v. State of Arkansas, (AR Cir. Ct., May 9, 2014), an Arkansas state trial court held that Arkansas' state constitutional and legislative bans on same-sex marriage violate the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. The suit was brought by 12 same-sex couples seeking to marry in Arkansas and 8 couples who have married in states allowing same-sex marriage who want their marriages recognized in Arkansas.  In striking down the state ban, the court added:
It has been over forty 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.
According to USA Today, while state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel personally supports same-sex marriage, his office said after the ruling:
in keeping with the Attorney General's obligation to defend the state constitution, we will appeal. We will request that Judge Piazza issue a stay of his ruling so as not to create confusion or uncertainty about the law while the Supreme Court considers the matter.
  [Thanks to Alliance Alert for the lead.]