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Huckabee: Impeach Arkansas Judge Who Legalized Gay Marriage

Image: Huckabee: Impeach Arkansas Judge Who Legalized Gay Marriage

By Jason Devaney   |   Monday, 12 May 2014 10:50 PM

Mike Huckabee is calling for impeachment of a judge who overturned a ban on gay marriage that Huckabee put into law as governor of Arkansas 17 years ago.

Huckabee, who served as the state's governor from 1996 to 2007, signed a law in 1997 that made same-sex marriage illegal in Arkansas. But Judge Christopher Piazza ruled Friday that the law was unconstitutional.

Now Huckabee, a potential Republican candidate for president in the 2016 election, is calling for current Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, to begin the impeachment process.

"The governor should call a special session of the legislature and impeach the judge and affirm the people's will," Huckabee said, as reported by The Hill. "If the people wish to allow same-sex marriage, they can put that matter on the ballot and vote for it."

Huckabee continued: Piazza "decided that he is singularly more powerful than the 135 elected legislators of the state, the elected governor, and 75 percent of the voters of the state. Apparently he mistook his black robe for a cape and declared himself to be 'SUPER LAWMAKER!'"

In his ruling, Piazza said that "the difference between opposite-sex and same-sex families is within the privacy of their homes. The court is not unmindful of the criticism that judges should not be super-legislators. However, the issue at hand is the fundamental right to marry being denied to an unpopular minority."

The state of Arkansas is appealing the ruling, said a spokesman for the attorney general. During the appeal, Piazza will be asked to put his ruling on hold until the final decision is made.

Arkansas State Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican, told Arkansas News that there is already an effort under way to impeach Piazza and have his decision thrown out.

He referenced the Supreme Court ruling last summer that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, paving the way for gay marriage to become lawful at the state level.

"When that decision was made, they also clarified that the states still have the right to decide whether they recognize or allow homosexual marriage or not, so, really, Judge Piazza has overstepped the United States Constitution, which he cites, he's overstepped the Arkansas Constitution clearly, and he has flown in the face of the entirety of the population of the state of Arkansas," Rapert said.

Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia have recognized gay marriage by popular vote, court rulings, or state legislatures. Five other states, including Arkansas, have had court decisions overturn same-sex marriage bans since December, but all are in the appeals process.

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