Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage struck down by state judge
(CNN) — Arkansas became the latest state to have its ban on same-sex marriage overturned, after a state judge Friday declared the voter-approved measure to be unconstitutional.
Twenty-one gay and lesbian couples were part of a group of plaintiffs challenging Amendment 83 to the Arkansas constitution, saying it violated their federal and state rights of equal protection and privacy.
There was no indication from the court the decision would be stayed, meaning some same-sex couples could presumably begin getting married immediately. The state has the option of asking for a stay on enforcement, and the legal fight is now likely headed to the state supreme court.
“Our freedoms are often acquired slowly, but our country has evolved as a beacon of liberty in what is sometimes a dark world. These freedoms include a right to privacy,” said Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza. “It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it.”
By Bill Mears
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