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PHOTOS: First Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Issued In Arkansas

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"PHOTOS: First Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Issued In Arkansas"

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Carroll County

CREDIT: AP Photo/Sarah Bentham

Gay and lesbian couples in Arkansas lined up to get married on Saturday, following a judge’s decision Friday to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.

The town of Eureka Springs, in Carroll County, opened its clerk’s office at 9:00 am and, since Arkansas has no waiting period or residency requirement, couples shouldn’t have needed to wait at all before applying for marriage licenses. But they were brielfy waylaid by confused staff who said that the clerk was out of town and they did not know how to handle the couples’ requests. Still, briefly after 10:00 local time, a new clerk came in and licenses were issued:

On Friday, Judge Chris Piazza found “Arkansas’ s marriage laws discriminate against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because they do not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest necessary to support even a rational basis review.” His decision opened the way for couples to start marrying immediately, though a stay may soon be put on his decision, since Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will likely file an appeal.

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