A circuit court judge has just ruled that Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage violates both state and federal Constitutions. Judge Chris Piazza cited the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment in his ruling. The case, Wright v. Arkansas, was heard last month.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is expected to appeal the case to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Last month, after hearing the case, Judge Piazza called it an “interesting adventure.”
“The reason I find this case interesting is that it’s more like what we did in law school, with lawyers considering Constitutional matters of national importance,” he added.
The plaintiffs include 21 same-sex couples who want to marry and/or adopt, or have their out-of-state marriages recognized, and one lesbian who wants a divorce.
“Today a state circuit judge in Arkansas ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, the latest in a unanimous wave of favorable rulings from more than a dozen state and federal judges across the country in recent months,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, in a statement. “Judge Piazza held that there is no good reason for discriminating against couples and their loved ones just because they are gay. With nearly 70 marriage cases now making their way through the courts, and five federal appellate courts now hearing arguments and soon to rule, today’s decision out of Arkansas underscores that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry.”
The Washington Blade reports that “Arkansas voters approved at the ballot Amendment 83, which made the ban on same-sex marriage part of the state constitution, in 2004 by a vote of 75 percent.