Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Ark. Gay Marriage Ban
Three gay couples filed a federal lawsuit Monday that seeks to overturn a 2004 Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage.
Two of the couples applied to get married in Pulaski County and were turned down. One couple was legally married in New York but "are treated as legal strangers in their home state of Arkansas," according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Jack Wagoner III of Little Rock.
The lawsuit names Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel as defendants, along with Pulaski County Circuit Clerk Larry Crane. A similar suit was filed earlier this month in state court by 11 gay couples.
A group is also working to get a measure on the 2014 ballot to legalize same-sex marriage. McDaniel’s office rejected proposed wording for the ballot proposal on Friday, though the group can rework the proposal’s language. Another group is seeking to place an item on the 2016 ballot.
Monday’s court action follows last month’s pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and opening the door for California to resume same-sex marriages.
The lawsuit asks for an injunction to block enforcement of the Arkansas ban, claiming the measure violates the rights to equal protection and due process.