A plaintiff couple in a case heard
Thursday challenging Arkansas' gay marriage ban appeared to have come
prepared to marry.
John Schenck and Robert Loyd, both 64,
are among the 21 gay couples and a lesbian challenging the
constitutionality of Amendment 83, the 2004 voter-approved amendment
to the Arkansas Constitution which defines marriage as a heterosexual
The men appeared in Circuit Judge Chris
Piazza's Little Rock courtroom in tuxedos with matching red shirts
and shoes, the Beaumont
After hearing arguments from both
sides, Piazza said he was still “drifting” on the issue but
promised a ruling in a couple of weeks.
“I've been waiting 44 years to get
over this damn rainbow,” Loyd said. “So, a couple more weeks
isn't going to matter to me.”
Lawyers representing the plaintiffs
fought off tears as they presented their arguments, according to the
“There is no rational basis for why
[the ban] should continue to exist,” Attorney Cheryl Maples argued.
“Animus is not appropriate in establishing a law that denies
people their fundamental rights.”
Colin Jorgensen, an attorney with the
Arkansas Attorney General's Office, argued that the ban does not
discriminate because it treats men and women equally.
The lawsuit targets clerks in only two
counties, Pulaski and Saline.