State Laws and Legislation

Arkansas Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law

Licenses marriages for same-sex couples? No.
Arkansas law states: “It shall be declared the public policy of the state of Arkansas to recognize the martial union only of man and woman. No license shall be issued to persons to marry another person of the same sex and no same-sex marriage shall be recognized as entitled to the benefits of marriage.”

Honors marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions? No.
Arkansas law states: “All marriages contracted outside this state which would be valid by the laws of the state or country in which the marriages were consummated and in which the parties then actually resided shall be valid in all courts in this state. This section shall not apply to a marriage between persons of the same sex. … Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state. Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex, where a marriage license is issued by another state or by a foreign jurisdiction, shall be void in Arkansas and any contractual or other rights granted by virtue of that license, including its termination, shall be unenforceable in the Arkansas courts.”

The Arkansas Constitution states: “Marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman. Legal status for unmarried persons which is identical or substantially similar to marital status shall not be valid or recognized in Arkansas, except that the Legislature may recognize a common law marriage from another state between a man and a woman. The Legislature has the power to determine the capacity of persons to marry, subject to this amendment, and the legal rights, obligations, privileges and immunities of marriage.”

Any form of statewide relationship recognition for same-sex couples? No.

Citations: ARK. CODE ANN. § 9-11-208 (b); ARK. CODE ANN. § 9-11-107; ARK. CODE ANN. § 9-11-208 (c).

Updated: Sat, March 10, 2007 - 12:00:41