Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on Thursday approved a
proposed initiative to repeal the state's gay marriage ban.
Arkansas for Equality submitted the proposal to repeal the state's
2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to
McDaniel noted in his opinion that the proposal would not legalize
gay nuptials in Arkansas but would “revive the General Assembly's
authority to pass such laws related to same-sex marriage as it deems
Supporters must collect 78,133 valid signatures from registered
voters by July 7, 2014 to qualify for next year's general election.
Judd Mann, co-chairman of Arkansas for Equality, told the Arkansas
News Bureau that his organization would use volunteers rather
than paid canvassers to collect the signatures.
“We want the community to be involved,” he said.
An affiliated group is working on a 2016 ballot initiative which
seeks to legalize gay nuptials in Arkansas. Additionally, Amendment
83 is being challenged in two lawsuits.
couples sue for right to marry in Arkansas.)
According to a
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) poll of 600 adults conducted between
June 26 and June 30, 38 percent of Arkansans support marriage
equality, and 55 percent remain opposed.