Kristin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo were the first of ten same-sex couples lined up outside the Pulaski County Courthouse this morning, all waiting to be issued Arkansas’s first gay marriage license. Seaton and Rambo exchanged vows on the sidewalk outside the courthouse in an impromptu ceremony officiated by a woman in a rainbow colored dress.
Proving that the South isn’t such a scary place after all, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down Arkansas’s same-sex marriage ban just yesterday, ruling that, “The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.” Arkansas voters approved the same sex marriage ban in 2004, which defined marriage as solely between a man and a woman, but it seems the traditionally southern state is finally coming to its senses.
Because Piazza did not issue a stay, which would halt further legal process, it is up to each Arkansas county clerk’s individual jurisdiction to decide whether or not they have the authority to issue a marriage license. Deputy clerk Lana Gordon decided that she obviously had the right, and has already issued fifteen same-sex marriage licenses today in Carroll County.
Some Arkansas residents, however, are still a little delusional – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he would appeal the ruling and ask for it to be suspended while they work out the “kinks.” He must be having trouble finding any; no appeal has been filed as of Saturday afternoon.