Equality to the right to marry is marching a narrow path this week in Arkansas. Opponents are speaking up and doors are being shut, but a few have reached the light.
The calls of 'activist judge' are flying from the right. Several counties which had been issuing licenses to LGBTQ folk have stopped for the time. I understand Pulaski County is still issuing them although the news flow seems slow for these 5 minute 'news cycles' as they are called. Senator Rapert says he has spoken to other legislators about impeaching the Honorable Judge Chris Piazza. Having a little knowledge of Judge Pizza, I don't think he cares. He ruled as he saw the law as it would be viewed through the constitutions of the state and nation. I haven't heard any rulings from the SCOA. We also have not seen a column or editorial from the LCD.
The fact remains as the county attorney said in another article, licenses issued from any county can be used to marry in any other county or city of their choice. So those chosing to marry now, may still do so using this method. The license must be returned to the issuing county with the proper documentation.
Melinda Reynolds has chosen not to issue licenses and as her affadvit stated there is no reason for the county to recognize marriages in general. She missed her day to be a 'Rosa Parks' in Faulkner County history chosing another path she lawfully is bound to adhere to. It is not a decision I admire but it is what it is. Time will change the laws which block access to 'equality under the law', a right which is guaranteed by both state and national constitutions.
Through reading around it is also my understanding there is another law which specifically bars County Clerks from issuing licenses to same sex couples which was not addressed in Judge Piazza's ruling, which would also bar Ms. Reynolds from issuing licenses. In her position as County Clerk, she is doubly barred from doing so. Another hurdle to cross. We'll get there.
So for now, equality under the law walks a narrow path in the Natural State, once know as "The Land of Opportunity". I hope news breaks soon about appeals, etc. We'll all be waiting.
UPDATED Weds May 14, 2014 17:20
Things are not looking good at this time for decisions passed by County Judges. I learned today the Atkansas State Supreme Court reversed Judge Tim Fox's decision overturning the voter ID law citing his authority to do so.