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Arkansans debate gay marriage

Wednesday, President Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to support gay marriage. While that news is not sitting well with some Arkansans, others say attitudes on same-sex marriage in Arkansas are changing.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Wednesday, President Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to support gay marriage. While that news is not sitting well with some Arkansans, others say attitudes on same-sex marriage in Arkansas are changing.

Right now, Arkansas bans same-sex marriage by defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, but, one state leader already says she sees attitudes changing.

"I think it's a turning point, and I was very happy that President Obama did that," says State Representative Kathy Webb.

Webb is the first openly gay elected official in Arkansas history. Wednesday's presidential announcement in support of same-sex marriage makes her proud.

"All we want is to be treated equally, and I don't think that's something that's too much to ask," says Webb.

"It was no surprise whatsoever when I saw on the news today that he indeed came out and said 'I support same-sex marriage,'" says Jerry Cox with the Family Council.

The conservative Little Rock-based Family Council believes strongly marriage is between one man and one woman.

"Not politically smart. At least, not for a state like Arkansas where three out of four people have already voted and said that they oppose same-sex marriage," says Cox of Obama's statement.

However, in Webb's six years in the state legislature, she's seen support for same-sex marriage grow.

"I think as people continue being more comfortable being themselves, you're gonna see attitudes in Arkansas really change," she says.

The Family Council, though, doesn't see same-sex marriage acceptance coming to Arkansas any time soon.

"If the values of people are becoming more liberal, it's not to a point where it's gonna be tipped in favor of same-sex marriage. And so, whether or not there's a trend or not, the only trend you can measure for sure, is the one where 31 states have already voted and said we think marriage ought to be the union of a man and a woman," says Cox.
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