Snyder stands out 

Congressman alone in opposing proposed gay marriage ban in the state Constitution.

Of the six members of the Arkansas congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder is the only one who will not vote for the November ballot initiative to ban gay marriage in the state Constitution. Despite casting votes against a similar effort to amend the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor said they support the state amendment. U.S. Reps. Marion Berry, John Boozman, and Mike Ross told the Arkansas Times they favor defining marriage as between a man and a woman only in both the federal and state Constitutions, and Boozman pointed out that he is a cosponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment. Snyder explained his opposition to the state proposal in an e-mail to the Times: "As one Arkansas voter considering the proposal, some of my questions are: (l) I don't understand the need for complicating the state Constitution since Arkansas law already clearly states marriage is a union between a man and a woman. It works best if family and marital law is done by statute, not by constitution. (2) The language in the proposal seems unnecessarily complicated and may have unintended consequences; for example, does it impact corporations who have health insurance plans that cover unmarried partners?" As one of the only federal officeholders facing a serious re-election challenge, Snyder's stance may involve considerable political risk. "My sense is that someone could be safer on this by going along with what the other members of the delegation have done," said Art English, a UALR political science professor. "We have a socially conservative electorate. Most Arkansans think marriage should be between a man and a woman. If Marvin Parks [Snyder's Republican opponent] could make the argument in very basic terms - and he certainly will - he could score some points." (On Monday, after the Times queried Parks' office, the candidate issued a press release attacking Snyder for his stand.) According to the most recent campaign filings, Parks has raised $388,400 to Snyder's $461,502, a far smaller margin than exists between candidates in any other federal race in Arkansas. That means Parks has the resources to move a message. Snyder doesn't see gay marriage as a campaign issue. "I think the most important issues facing voters in this race are national security, the economy, health care and education," Snyder said. "As a former Marine, Vietnam veteran, and a family doctor who works very hard on the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees, I am confident the voters will continue to support me." English made a similar point. "Congressman Snyder has his supporters," he noted. "A lot of people respect him for his independence. But he is going to have to explain his position. If he can't do that as well as he has in the past, it may cost him some votes."

From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Warwick Sabin

  • Helena's disappearing buildings

    Preservationists hope to slow demolitions.
    • Mar 22, 2007
  • Trailers headed to Dumas

    Gov. Mike Beebe issued the following statement earlier today: Although this decision by FEMA to deny emergency funds to Desha County defies common sense, Arkansas will take care of its own people.
    • Mar 9, 2007
  • Youth Ranch robbed, vandalized

    According to a press release we just received: The Donald W. Reynolds Campus of the Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranches (The Ranch) located near Fort Smith was vandalized overnight Thursday.  Items stolen during the break-in included all of the children’s saddles, food, tools and supplies from The Ranch’s carpentry shop and all equipment from its auto shop.  An investigation is underway with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.
    • Mar 9, 2007
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

  • House and Senate pass legislation to rein in pharmacy benefit managers

    On Wednesday, both chambers of the Arkansas legislature approved identical versions of a bill to regulate pharmacy benefit managers, the powerful health care companies at the center of a dispute over cuts in reimbursements paid to pharmacists.
  • Readers Choice 2018 results

    Soup to nuts, restaurant-wise.
  • Best restaurants of Arkansas 2018

    It's a tough business, the restaurant industry. Over the 37 years that the Arkansas Times has asked its readers to tell us which restaurants and bakeries, chefs and bartenders, hamburgers and home cookin' and such are the best, even the favorites have come and gone.
  • The post-prison license hurdle

    Arkansas is trying to make it easier for those released from ADC to get licenses and IDs. But challenges remain.

Most Recent Comments


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