AR Judge Rules Same Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A Pulaski County Circuit Court judge strikes down the ban on same sex marriage.

The Attorney General's Office already saying it will appeal the decision.

For now though, Judge Piazza said banning same sex marriages in Arkansas is unconstitutional.

In his ruling he left a very strong opinion stating, "It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it."

However not everyone agrees with this decision.

Jerry Cox -- President of the Arkansas Family Council -- says in 2004, a large majority of Arkansans voted that marriage should only be between a man and woman.

So he's disappointed with today's ruling.

He said, "And yet this judge has decided for all of us what a marriage will be and that's not how we ought to do things in the United States of America."

Gary and Randy Eddy-McCain feel differently.

The two married legally in New York last year.

They would like their marriage recognized in Arkansas too.

So the men say they're pleased with the judge's decision and call it an opportunity for equal rights.

Randy Eddy-McCain said, "If you go into the doctor's office, they say single or married and I would say I'm married to my partner and they say that doesn't count, you have to be single and I'm so tired of that because we are not single, we are together."

In a statement, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he respects the court's decision but is obligated to defend the state constitution and his office will appeal Judge Piazza's ruling.

He said, "We will request that Judge Piazza issue a stay of his ruling so as not to create confusion or uncertainty about the law while the Supreme Court considers the matter."

So, there is another same-sex marriage ban lawsuit pending in federal court....and that could change things depending on the decision there.

For now, the plaintiff's attorney says he expects same sex couples will be lined up at courthouses Monday morning ready to apply for marriage licenses.

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