Arkansas County Clerks Refuse to Wed Gays

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Gay couples flocked to courthouses Monday to receive their long-sought-after marriage licenses. Their happiness was short lived though.

On Monday, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel asked the state’s Supreme Court to suspend the lower court ruling made by Circuit Judge Christopher Piazza which overturned a ban on gay marriage, according to the LA Times.

While McDaniel stated that he supports same-sex marriage, he also said that it was his obligation to continue to defend the ban, according to the Huffington Post.

“We respect the Court’s decision, but, in keeping with Attorney General’s obligation to defend the state constitution, we will appeal,” Aaron Sadler, a spokesman for the attorney general, said, according to the LA Times. “Our office is focused on obtaining a stay. We have communicated with Association of Counties staff to help them formulate their advice to the county clerks, but we do not represent clerks. They are independently elected officials who will follow the advice of their own legal counsel and proceed as they see fit.”

In the predominantly-Christian state, many clerks refused to wed same-sex couples even before the stay, saying that they would wait until the Supreme Court verdict on the ruling.

Seventy of the 75 county clerks in Arkansas refused to wed same-sex couples, according to USA Today.

Arkansas has become the 18th state to lift their ban on same-sex marriage and the first state in the Bible Belt to issue same-sex marriage licenses.


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Greg Kabel
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