June 20, 2014
HRC: Resolution Meant to Intimidate Arkansas Judiciary
Washington— Today, the Arkansas Legislative Council passed a resolution in support of Amendment 83, an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. While non-binding, the resolution strongly urges the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold the ban against marriage equality. Human Rights Campaign President and Arkansas native Chad Griffin made the following statement:
"The Arkansas Legislative Council can't intimidate the judiciary into ignoring the fact that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry, “said Griffin. “This is a matter of basic fairness and shouldn't be subject to political gamesmanship.”
The resolution is in response to a ruling by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza who struck down the state’s ban on same sex marriage in May in Wright v. Arkansas-- led by attorneys Cheryl Maples and Jack Wagoner. The decision allowed hundreds of Arkansas gay and lesbian couples to get married before the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay. The Attorney General has appealed Wright to the state Supreme Court.
Republican Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert sponsored the resolution, presenting it initially in May. The measure required a six-day notice to be considered, but Rapert wanted to suspend the rules needing a two-thirds vote. It failed.