Arkansas county clerks prep for new marriage forms; Supreme Court ruling in gay marriage coming soon | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Arkansas county clerks prep for new marriage forms; Supreme Court ruling in gay marriage coming soon

Posted By on Sun, Jun 21, 2015 at 8:02 PM

The D-G this morning did some deep reporting on bureaucratic prep work — county clerks are getting ready for a ruling from the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage, which could come as soon as tomorrow:

If the U.S. Supreme Court decides this month that it's unconstitutional for states such as Arkansas to ban same-sex marriage, one immediate issue facing county clerks is revising the traditional, gender-specific language on marriage licenses and application forms.

That's why county clerks' offices have been quietly preparing for the Supreme Court decision, which is expected by the end of this month. If it has the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, Pulaski County — and many others across Arkansas — have software in place to quickly remake the forms.

"Bride" and "Groom" would give way to phrases such as "Spouse 1" and "Spouse 2" on gender-neutral marriage-license applications in Pulaski County. The marriage licenses themselves would delete the titles "Mr." and "Ms." The couples' names would stand alone.

It sounds like county clerks will manage if the Supreme Court rules that states like Arkansas can no longer ban same-sex marriage. Indeed, if I may make a prediction: we'll all manage just fine to live in a place where same-sex couples who love each other can choose to get legally married just like straight couples. 

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