Arkansas county clerk issues first gay marriage license after ban struck down

By Kyle Johnson,

The first of several same-sex couples lined up outside of the county courthouse in Eureka Springs, Arkansas were issued a marriage license Saturday morning, less than a day after a county judge struck down the ban.

Kristin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo were able to get a marriage license and then immediately outside the building they were married, reports The Associated Press. They drove from Fort Smith to Eureka Springs unsure if they would be given a marriage license despite Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's ruling.

After a brief period of confusion, Carroll County Deputy Clerk Jane Osborn handed the couple a marriage license. One deputy county clerk wouldn't issue the license as she wasn't sure she could. Chris Villines, Association of Arkansas Counties executive director, lamented the judge's lack of a stay. "The court didn't give us any time to get the kinks worked out."

As previously reported, Piazza struck down the 2004 amendment on Friday night, deeming it unconstitutional as it violated the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.

He also didn't issue a stay meaning that county clerks could immediately begin issuing marriage licenses once they opened up again on Saturday.

The attorney general's office said there would be an appeal, but nothing had been filed by Saturday morning.

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