Arkansas State Judge Chris Piazza has just ruled that Arkansas' same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. It violates the US Constitution. The case is Wright vs Arkansas. This story is developing. Stay tuned for updates.
From the opinion:
Regardless of the level of review required, Arkansas’s mar[r]iage laws discriminate against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because they do not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest necessary to support even a rational basis review.More from the opinion:
The court is not unmindful of the criticism that judges should not be super legislators. However, the issue at hand is the fundamental right to marry being denied to an unpopular minority. Our judiciary has failed such groups in the past.
The Arkansas Supreme Court applied a heightened scrutiny and struck down as unconstitutional an initiated act that prohibited unmarried opposite-sex and sarne-sex couples from adopting children. The exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage for no rational basis violates the fundamental right to privacy and equal protection as described in Jegley and Cole, supra. The difference between opposite-sex and same-sex families is within the privacy of their homes.via arktimes
THEREFORE, THIS COURT HEREBY FINDS the Arkansas constitutional and legislative ban on same-sex marriage through Act 144 of 1997 and Amendment 83 is unconstitutional.
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.
3:06 PM PT: You can read more about this ruling at Equality On Trial along with the opinion.
3:10 PM PT: The judge did not issue a stay for the ruling, however the state is expected to request one.
4:50 PM PT: Arkansas State officials have requested an immediate stay of Judge Piazza's decision.
Sat May 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM PT: Some county clerks offices have opened today and are issuing marriage licences. And, the first same-sex (civil) marriages in Arkansas have occurred.