Eleven gay and lesbian couples are
suing the state of Arkansas for the right to marry.
In their complaint filed Tuesday in
Pulaski Circuit Court, the plaintiffs are asking a judge to declare
Amendment 83, the state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional
amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union, to be in
violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Family Council, the Little Rock-based
group which sponsored Amendment 83, dismissed the lawsuit, saying
that the plaintiffs were more interested in publicity.
“The Arkansas Marriage Amendment
passed by 75% in 2004,” group wrote in a statement issued to THV
11. “Amendment 83 has been in place for nearly ten years. It
is one of the best in the nation. If it were legally deficient, it
would have been challenged years ago. This lawsuit seems to be more
about gaining publicity than anything else. When they passed
Amendment 83, the people of Arkansas decided that marriage is the
union of a man and a woman. They don't need the courts telling them
what a marriage is.”
The filing comes less than a week after
the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),
which denied federal benefits to legally married gay couples, and
issued a ruling which opened the door for same-sex marriages to
resume in California.