Tags: same-sex | marriage | ban | court

Judge Rules Arkansas Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 08:45 PM

A U.S. district judge ruled on Tuesday that an Arkansas constitutional amendment defining marriage as being only the union of one man and one woman was unconstitutional, striking down a measure overwhelmingly approved by voters a decade ago.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker said the Arkansas amendment denied U.S. constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law for same-sex couples. The decision was the latest in a series striking down same-sex marriage bans imposed in many U.S. states.

"These laws impose unconstitutional classifications on the basis of gender in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution," she wrote in her decision.

Aaron Sadler, press secretary to Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, said the judge issued a stay, meaning the law will stay in effect while appeals are heard.

"We appreciate Judge Baker's implementation of a stay in this matter in order to avoid confusion and uncertainty as this case goes through the appeals process," Sadler said.

An attorney for the plaintiffs said he was reviewing the decision and considering whether to appeal the stay.

The suit in Arkansas was filed by two same-sex couples seeking what they said are the same rights of opposite-sex couples.

The decision in Arkansas comes after the U.S. Supreme Court last week cleared the way for South Carolina to become the 35th U.S. state where gay marriage is legal, denying a request to block same-same weddings from proceeding.

While gay marriage advocates have had the upper hand in the courts in the past year, a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court on Nov. 6 became the first to uphold gay marriage bans.

That decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals created a split within the courts, increasing the chances the Supreme Court will rule on the issue.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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A U.S. district judge ruled on Tuesday that an Arkansas constitutional amendment defining marriage as being only the union of one man and one woman was unconstitutional, striking down a measure overwhelmingly approved by voters a decade ago.U.S. District Judge Kristine...
same-sex, marriage, ban, court
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2014-45-25
Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 08:45 PM
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