Marriage equality in Arkansas!

Arkansas :eek: just saw it’s first legal(ish) gay wedding today. I wonder how many more couples will get married before the state AG get’s the ruling stayed (likely sometime Monday afternoon). I predict SCOTUS is going to issue a definitive ruling once and for all by 2017 at the latest.

I’ve only seen reports of these 15 licenses issued. I’d guess they will all marry this weekend? There won’t be much time before the Attorney General gets a stay.

Congrats, Arkansas!
Is it wrong, for each time a State finally gives in, that I hear “Another One Bites The Dust”?
No one bit the dust, just some outdated hate (fear).

Woot! Woot! Woot!

Was there ever a decision on what happens to marriages that are issued during brief windows like this? It seems a couple of States have had cases where a bunch of licenses are issued when a Court knocks down a gay marriage ban, and then after some legal wrangling, the ban is upheld by a higher court.

Do the already married couples stay married in the eyes of the State, or do the marriages get voided.

I think this is part of the strategy: it’s a lot more difficult to find a legal excuse to void a valid marriage, so you end up with the weird situation that happened in California and even more pressure to just legalize it already.

I don’t think that’s the sole reason people rush to marry in these situations, but I think it’s part of it.

IIRC, in cases where couples have been married in such legal windows, the marriages are considered valid once the window has closed.

I am rather curious as to why the judge didn’t stay his own ruling pending the inevitable appeal. The best guess I can venture is presentation of the marriages as fait accompli evidence that fire didn’t rain down from the heavens.

Hopefully the appeals process won’t take years and everyone can get on with living their lives. Everyone.

And also hopefully we can do what needs to be done without involving the National Guard and the US Army.

I just wonder how my uncles are feeling. Just a few months ago, they went to the nearest state to get legally married. They probably wouldn’t have gotten it all together in time anyways, I bet.

I never expected that Arkansas would be the next on the list. The whole thing seems to be going completely backwards. The only place I thought it would be less likely to happen was Utah.

Pro-When other states have had similar situations, the federal government has recognized the marriages.

I was amused by this sentence in the article linked to from the OP, “‘Thank God,’ Rambo said after Carroll County Deputy Clerk Jane Osborn issued them a license, ending a brief period of uncertainty when a different deputy county clerk said she wasn’t authorized to grant one and questioned whether Piazza’s order in a courtroom 150 miles away had any bearing in Eureka Springs.”

Questioned whether a decision made 150 miles applied to her county? Isn’t that how government works? And this is a deputy county clerk?

I’m not sure they can wait that long, but I don’t know what the time frame on these sorts of cases looks like.

Consider that this is from the same pool of employees, some of whom won’t accept driver’s licenses from Alaska, Hawaii, or New Mexico as ID, because those are foreign countries. These stories recounted from all over the US, not just the small towns. Not so surprising.

I don’t see why the clerk deserves scorn for this - it is reasonable for her to wait until the authorization is promulgated through her chain of command, rather than just unilaterally act on what she sees in the media.

My local news station reported that the Pulaski county clerk will issue marriage licensesMonday morning. The largest Ark cities are in Pulaski county. It includes most of the Little Rock Metro area.

But some counties won’t issue them.

When it goes down, I’m looking forward to reading Scalia’s dissent. Or, heaven forbid, his decision.

If Arkansas is divided into judicial districts like the Federal court system, it is possible that that judge’s ruling isn’t binding on her.

A correct deputy county clerk.

Why would a Pulaski County Circuit judge have the authority to bind Carroll County’s clerk’s?

Does it make sense to you that one trial judge, at the lowest level of the state’s judicial courts of record, could somehow make binding law for the entire state?

It’s true that in the federal system, a “circuit court” does create binding precedent with their decisions. But a federal circuit covers multiple states and is only one step below the United States Supreme Court. Even then, a federal circuit’s decisions are binding only within its covered territory.

In Arkansas, there are 23 different circuits. Arkansas also has district courts, which are of limited jurisdiction, but the lowest level of trial court of record is the circuit court. Decisions from the circuit court are appealed to the Arkansas Court of Appeals and then to the Arkansas Supreme Court. An Arkansas Circuit Court is the state’s lowest court of general jurisdiction.

A clerk from a different county can certainly decide to take this opportunity and run with it – that is, rely on the decision as a basis for beginning to issue same-sex marriage licenses. But there’s no guarantee that those licenses will ultimately be held to be valid.

This is in contrast to what happened in California – there, the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal. At that point, when clerks began issuing marriage licenses, they were unambiguously relying on the current state of the law. (Of course, then Prop 8 passed, which equally unambiguously changed the law of California, but left unanswered the fate of licenses granted while same-sex marriage was legal…and then in turn, Prop 8 was nullified by the US Supreme Court, making that question moot).

But were they 1st cousins?

I am puzzled how a State judge can decide a State Constitutional Amendment is unconstitutional. Isn’t the whole point of an amendment is to include it in the state’s constitution?

As I understand it, the court interprets law to see if it conforms to the Constitution. Well, the amendment makes that irrelevant. Gay marriage is banned by the Ark State Constitution. I’m not sure what the heck this state judge thinks he is doing.

Now, a Federal judge could rule the US Constitution is being violated by this state amendment. That is what will happen when SCOTUS finally issues a decision.

Busy morning at the Pulaski county courthouse.