Same-sex marriage watch | Arkansas Blog

Friday, June 26, 2015

Same-sex marriage watch

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 7:30 AM

Back to the scotusblog and periodic checks with the on-line record of Arkansas court cases to see if a decision emanates today from either the U.S. or Arkansas Supreme Courts today on same-sex marriage.

As David Koon's interview with Pulaski Clerk Larry Crane indicated, even a sweeping ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of marriage equality will leave open questions, particularly in the event of continued silence from the Arkansas Supreme Court or, worst case scenario, a state decision overturning Judge Chris Piazza's ruling for equal rights for gay people.

I'd point you, too, to the embedded resistance by many who provide advice to county governments to same-sex marriage. After Piazza's ruling, District Judge Ralph Ohm, an outspoken evangelical who guides people in his court into religious rehabilitation programs and is a legal adviser to counties, was among those who pressed county clerks to ignore Piazza's ruling and not issue marriage licenses after his ruling in the interim period before the Supreme Court issued a stay. He was not alone. I predict many clerks will be reluctant to issue marriage licenses in Arkansas, without clear guidance.

However, there is a path to enforcement. If the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates bans on marriage in several states and Arkansas officials continue to insist on discrimination, lawyers for plaintiffs in the federal court case in Little Rock will speedily seek an injunction against unconstitutional behavior by Arkansas elected officials, it will be granted and resisters will face contempt citations.

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