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Saline County Announces It Will Not Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses
BENTON, AR (News release) - Effective immediately, the Saline County Clerk's office will not issue same sex marriage licenses until further notice.
Based on legal advice, the Saline County Clerk's office sold a limited number of same sex marriage licenses on Monday with the intention that the office was following state law. Upon additional information being presented it has been determined that the recent ruling by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza that the law concerning marriages has become vague and unclear. Therefore, until the law is clarified and the state is following one law with unity, the Saline County Clerk's office will follow the Constitutional Amendment 83 that defines marriage between a man and a woman. This Amendment was passed in 2004 by a margin of 75% of the voters. Marriage licenses will be sold in Saline County to people that meet this constitutional law of the great state of Arkansas.
"Elected officials should be empowering voters, not overruling their vote," stated Saline County Clerk Doug Curtis.
Judge Piazza struck down Act 144 of 1997 and Amendment 83 of 2004 aimed at six county clerks, opening the door for same sex marriages to occur in Arkansas. The Saline County Clerk's office was notified after business hours via email of this decision. This lawsuit was originally filed on July 21, 2013 and the ruling was made during the middle of elections.
"With reckless abandonment, Judge Piazza declared Amendment 83 unconstitutional and did not exercise wisdom by placing a stay on his decision," Curtis says.
"I do not believe that one circuit judge should have the authority with the stroke of a pen to dismiss over 750,000 Arkansas voters. This is the very reason that we have Supreme Court justices that are elected on a statewide basis," commented Curtis.