Arkansas clerk issues marriage license to lesbian couple following ruling

Sat. May 10, 2014 11:55 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Arkansas becomes first Dixie state to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Fort Smith, Arkansas - An Arkansas clerk has issued the state's first marriage license to a gay couple following a ruling handed down late Friday striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.

Kristin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo of Fort Smith, Arkansas were issue a marriage license by Carroll County Clerk Jane Osborne on Saturday morning, the AP reported.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza said in his 13-page ruling that the state has "no rational reason" for withholding marriage from gay couples. Unlike some judges in other states, Piazza did not stay his ruling.

According to messages on social media, Osborne at first refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Right Campaign (HRC), than nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded the ruling.

"All across my home state, throughout the South, and around the country, LGBT people and their families are seeking basic respect and dignity," Griffin said. "This victory is an essential step on the journey toward full equality for all."

Jerry Cox, who as president of the Family Council led the 2004 effort to enshrine the state's definition of marriage into its constitution, called the ruling an example of judicial activism.

"Something is terribly wrong when a judge can overturn a good law that was passed in a statewide election by 75% of the people. This is another example of a judge substituting his personal preference for the will of the people," Cox said in a statement.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine