An Arkansas clerk has issued the
state's first marriage license to a gay couple following a ruling
handed down late Friday striking down the state's ban on gay
Kristin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo of
Fort Smith, Arkansas were issued a marriage license by Carroll County
Clerk Jane Osborne on Saturday morning, the AP reported.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris
Piazza said in his 13-page ruling that the state has “no rational
reason” for withholding marriage from gay couples. Unlike some
judges in other states, Piazza did not stay his ruling.
strikes down Arkansas' gay marriage ban.)
According to messages on social media,
Osborne at first refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human
Right Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate,
applauded the ruling.
“All across my home state, throughout
the South, and around the country, LGBT people and their families are
seeking basic respect and dignity,” Griffin said. “This victory
is an essential step on the journey toward full equality for all.”
Jerry Cox, who as president of the
Family Council led the 2004 effort to enshrine the state's definition
of marriage into its constitution, called the ruling an example of
“Something is terribly wrong when a
judge can overturn a good law that was passed in a statewide election
by 75% of the people. This is another example of a judge
substituting his personal preference for the will of the people,”
Cox said in a statement.