On Tuesday, just in time for Thanksgiving, a U.S. district judge declared Arkansas’ same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The judge stayed the ruling, however, so no nuptials will be performed while the state determines whether to take the case to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Same-sex couples can now marry legally in 35 states and the District of Columbia, while 15 states still have constitutional amendments limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
In response to the decision, Chad Griffin, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president and native Arkansan, issued the following statement:
“More than five hundred committed and loving gay and lesbian couples have already married in the state of Arkansas, and two separate courts have now both declared that the state’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. There’s no excuse for delaying justice even one more day. I am proud to be an Arkansan by birth, but I’ll be even prouder when this shameful stain on the state Constitution is erased once and for all. Thanks to today’s historic ruling and the courageous plaintiffs and attorneys who made it possible, that day is closer than ever before.”
Also in response to the ruling, Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:
“Today’s ruling out of the deep south affirms what nearly every court in the past year has held: loving and committed same-sex couples are guaranteed the freedom to marry by the U.S. Constitution. Now is the time for the Supreme Court to take up a case and end marriage discrimination once and for all.”