Same-sex marriage: The new normal in 2014, even in parts of Arkansas | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Same-sex marriage: The new normal in 2014, even in parts of Arkansas

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 9:22 AM

marriage.jpg

Speaking of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's matter-of-fact tip of the hat to a same-sex Navy couple:

For one glorious week in 2014 (as illustrated in our cover story), same-sex couples enjoyed marriage equality under Arkansas law thanks to Circuit Judge Chris Piazza. A dithering  Arkansas Supreme Court (perhaps thanks to some conniving by certain justices) hasn't yet settled the matter under state law, though a federal judge has struck down the ban.

But I realized this morning that — though Arkansas is only one of 14 states where marriage equality doesn't yet prevail — Arkansas, too, is moving with the advancing tide.

I went to a party last night at the Pleasant Valley Country Club. It honored a newlywed couple, both men. They were married in New York, where they work and where justice prevails. They were welcomed home by a happy crowd that couldn't have been more mainstream — doctors, lawyers, bankers, teachers, mostly "traditional" couples. I don't think many in the crowd gave much of a thought to sexual politics. I saw people happy to see a handsome couple with successful professional lives pay a visit to old friends and family in Little Rock. Jason Rapert and Co. could perhaps frown at this tableau. I could not.

The Arkansas Supreme Court willing, perhaps this scene will become the permanent new normal for Arkansas, with vows said in Arkansas churches, licenses registered at Arkansas courthouses and — at last — mention of such nuptials permitted in the state's largest newspaper.

And what of the Supreme Court? It appears the day will end without a decision in the appeal of Piazza's ruling. That means Robin Wynne tomorrow will succeed the retiring Justice Donald Corbin as a voter on the case. Rhonda Wood will take the seat of another justice leaving the court, Cliff Hoofman, who recused after an ex parte discussion with Sen. Jason Rapert, a same-sex marriage foe. Until now, the standard line has been that it is custom for an appointed special justice — Robert McCorkindale in this case — to stay on the case until its conclusion. But I think four votes of the seven-member court could change custom. If that happens — and it produces an outcome different than would have occurred under the panel that originally heard the case on an expedited basis — it will produce an even stronger odor  than already attaches to the handling of this case by at least certain members of the Supreme Court.

The good news is in  the national evidence that Martin Luther King's famous saying applies to this modern-day civil rights issue: The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. Even in Arkansas.

Tags: , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • How about some good news? A science whiz from Little Rock

    A reader points me to a Forbes "30 under 30" feature on promising young scientists who include Little Rock native Luke Osborn, 29 now a Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins University.
    • Nov 14, 2018
  • Election assessments: There WAS a blue wave, if not in Arkansas

    As results continue to trickle in, the national media has realized that Donald Trump was blowing smoke in claiming a sweeping Republican victory in last Tuesday's election. The Senate losses will be smaller than originally thought thanks to Democratic pickups in Arizona and Nevada; House Democratic gains seem likely to be between 35 and 40, with some agonizing close losses elsewhere. Democrats made gains in governorships and legislatures, too. But then, there's Arkansas:
    • Nov 14, 2018
  • State approves new agreement with LR teachers, includes waiver of dismissal law UPDATE

    State Education Commissioner Johnny Key, who's controlled the Little Rock School District for four years since state takeover for deficiencies in test scores in six schools, announced this evening that he'd approved a contract agreement between the district and the Little Rock Education Association that includes a waiver of the teacher fair dismissal law that he'd sought over teacher objections.
    • Nov 13, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

    Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • Presidential thriller, co-author Bill Clinton, coming to bookstores in 2018

    June 2018 is the expected publication date for a novel collaboration by former President Bill Clinton and crime writer James Patterson.
    • May 9, 2017

Slideshows

  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation