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El Paso Couple Among Those Suing State Over Gay Marriage

The issue of gay marriage came to the forefront in Arkansas less than a week after the US Supreme Court made key rulings on gay rights issues.
EL PASO, ARKANSAS -- The issue of gay marriage came to the forefront in Arkansas less than a week after the US Supreme Court made key rulings on gay rights issues.

11 gay couples filed a lawsuit arguing laws banning gay marriage in Arkansas and refusing to recognize gay marriages from other states are unconstitutional.

One of the plaintiffs, Kendall Wright, fed chickens with her son Gabriel Tuesday in the small farm at their El Paso home.  It's hard to see anything that sets them apart.

In fact, there's something about all the animals and neighborhood kids running in every direction that seems so.... Arkansas.

But there's one thing that is different about this family.  The parents are two women.

In 2007 Kendall met and fell in love with Julia Wright.  They were married in an unofficial ceremony in 2008 in Arkansas.  Last year they married in Iowa -- a state where gay marriage is legal.

But when they got back home reality set in.

"You still have someone that says 'no, you're not a family,'" Kendall Wright said.

That's why the Wrights have signed their names to a lawsuit asking a judge to declare Arkansas' laws on gay marriage unconstitutional.

"I just want to be the same," Kendall said.

She says it's more than symbolic.  Because their marriage isn't official in Arkansas, benefits wouldn't transfer if one of them died "like she didn't even exist in our lives.  And that scares the crap out of me."

Wright says she knows some will never accept her family but, she says, that is okay. 

"God says you're supposed to love me, but you don't have to," she said. "I just want the government to recognize us."

One of the defendants listed on the lawsuit is State Attorney General Dustin McDaniel -- who will defend the state against the lawsuit.
   
A spokesman said Tuesday that the office had received a copy of the lawsuit and was reviewing it.
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