First Gay Marriage License Issued In Arkansas

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Photo courtesy of affiliate station KFOR.

Arkansas’ first gay marriage license was issued at the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs on Saturday (May 10) to Kristin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo of Fort Smith, according to a story on, the website of KTHV-11 in Little Rock.

Carroll County Deputy Clerk Jane Osborn issued the license, according to the Little Rock CBS affiliate, a 5NEWS content partner.

Saturday’s developments followed a ruling by a Pulaski County judge on Friday that struck down Arkansas’ same-sex marriage ban, saying the “hatred and fears” of previous years have vanished concerning prohibited marriages.

Arkansas Times, a newsweekly based in Little Rock, reported that the deputy county clerk earlier Saturday declined to issue marriage licenses to any couples because the county clerk was out of town. That county is one of the few, if not the only one, that normally issues marriage licenses on Saturday, according to Arkansas Times.

Judge Chris Piazza delivered the ruling in the case of Wright vs. Arkansas, which challenged the state statute passed in 1997 and placed into the Arkansas Constitution. The statute, which was approved by voters in 2004, prohibited same-sex couples from marrying and forbid the state from recognizing same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, according to a statement released Friday by the Human Rights Campaign.

In his ruling, Piazza referenced a past civil rights case involving Mildred Loving, a black woman who was imprisoned for marrying a white man.

“It has been over 40 years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice. The hatred and fears have long since vanished and she and her husband lived full lives together,” Piazza wrote in his ruling. “So it will be for the same-sex couples. It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters.”

To read more on this story from KTHV-11, and to see an interview with two of the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit, click here.



  • Thom

    This has nothing to do with God. Each of us will deal with God on a one-on-one basis when the time comes. Freedom doesn’t just apply to people who believe the same as you. Everyone has been granted the right to live their life the way they choose so long as they are not infringing on the rights of others. If you aren’t being harmed it is none of your business.

  • Tony-

    Your personal religious beliefs don’t trump the Constitution just because you believe them to be true. Equality under the law isn’t a form of persecution against you because your opinion is different. Seperation of church and state is a founding principle of this great country we live in and always will be.

  • Whosittoya

    Never thought I’d see the day when this happened in Arkansas. Pretty crazy but wonderful…. very proud of the loving words the Judge put in there with it. Shows that people really come around after awhile…

    • Tom Sambo

      Radical judges did the same thing some 40 years ago with abortion. The same thing is happening now.

      • Jason

        Thank god for a separation of church and state. It’s amazing to see how many people want their own freedoms and civil liberties and then try and keep other people from having those same rights.

    • rusty

      That’s right…We need a new judge that will hold up our “Arkansas values” that all these political candidates talk about. You know, all those values that lead to this great state being ranked 49th out of 50 in so many categories, like education,meth addicts, people living below the poverty line, etc.

      • Jason

        Not to mention we’re the leading state where people have been married and divorced more than three times. “Sanctity of marriage” give me a break. Churches are filled with divorced people.


    tom is reading the Book…God does not aprove of homosexuality..He will judge them and f they do not quit sinning they will burn in hell

    • Randy R. Waldroupe

      And Stella I am Assuming you never sin and are perfect because if you sin in the least little bit you will also burn for your judgement.Oh and by the way judgement is a sin for us as humans…..

  • ns

    Matthew 7:1-5 ESV

    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

    Luke 6:37 ESV
    “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

  • Tom Sambo

    For those incompetents celebrating the great victory Arkansas has won, this travesty had nothing to do with Arkansas. It had everything to do with a radical liberal judge. Arkansans voted overwhelmingly to keep marriage between one man and one woman, the way God intended it to be. Instead, the will of the people was ignored and extremism won (for now). Homosexuality is nothing more than a genetic defect, something in the DNA that went awry. To argue that two men or two women engaging in s*x with one another is somehow okay and natural is laughable at best.

    • rusty

      You say marriage should be “the way God intended it to be” and then follow that up by saying “genetic defect, something in the DNA that went awry”…Was that genetic defect that went awry God’s will? Did he create homosexuals with this genetic defect on purpose and intend for them to just keep their preferences to themselves throughout their life? What if God had selected you for this “genetic defect”? What would you do?

    • mark

      good sir: & how is it that you take it upon yourself to legislate morality regarding partnership to others who inflict no harm on you or do not restrict your rights as citizens of this great state? & call your stance “god chosen”? then you tell them to leave? my oh my :-)
      it’s been said that if you really want to change the world, clean your own shower stall. yes, mine needs cleaning, does yours?

  • Morgan

    To say that your one god is the correct and only god is laughable. Your god is the correct and only god…..FOR YOU. You do not get to dictate for me or anyone else what our one correct god says is okay, if we even have a god. It is this lovely thing based on the ideal of freedom of religion. Why is that so hard to understand? So long as my religious views do not cause harm to your body or your property it is entirely my business. I defy anyone to tell me how my lesbian friend marrying her lesbian partner causes any harm to their family values, body or property. Every competent man and woman should be free to marry any competent man or woman they choose to. There is nothing radical about that. =)

  • Ps

    The state of Texas stands on it’s conservative values yet it has the highest volume of divorce. How’s that for how God intended it to be?

    • Tom Sambo

      The highest volume, huh? Maybe because there are over 20 million people living there. Idiotic argument. You and those of your ilk will also defend Islam, yet this religion is even less “tolerant” of homosexual behavior that are Chrisitans. Hypocrites.

      • banterbrigade

        If you think the bible is by any means supposed to be taken literally as exactly what God wants, then you are insane. And if you seriously are considering the bible in its entirety as what we should follow then that means you also believe that slavery is ok, marrying at 13 is ok, sex-trafficking is ok, amongst other things… You highlighted the parts about homosexuality but tucked the others under the rug…. Things change and we as a nation realize the wrong-doing of what may have been considered ok centuries ago. It’s not ok to hate two people in love…. It is much more than sex, it is actual LOVE… Wanting to spend your life with someone, having all the same things a traditional married couple have. You have no right to say that two people (and I feel that you’re forgetting that these are HUMAN BEINGS we’re talking about) can not have that based on something written too long ago to compare to today’s world…. And have you ever thought maybe God might have something to do with this? Maybe He wants this to be right and this is his way of showing it? Possibly a over population solution? Gay couples cannot have their own children but they sure can adopt a child who needs a home… And may also be able to convince a mother to ceize an abortion by offering to adopt her child so there’s another plus side…. How can you not have anything positive to say about this???

      • Ok

        I defend the right to Americans having the same right as anyone else whether that be Islam or Christiantity or any other relegion. Nobody is imposing homosexuality on you. It’s not affecting your life. You can still read you bible, pray for meals and go to church on Sunday mornings. Why not let other people who have different beliefs than you have the same rights. I know the bible has a lot more scripture on love and forgiveness than it does on homosexuality.

  • Kevin

    Since G*y marriage is acknowledged then we also acknowledge a s*xual attraction between the same gender is possible. Therefore I believe it is every straight persons right to have separate public restrooms to avoid s*xual harassment. We can go on and on but none of this will happen because the government is pandering to liberals at the moment and its also hip, cool, and trendy to be g*y these days.

  • Captain pissed

    What really pisses me off is one judge can overturn the decision of the majority of the state. The law should have been brought up for another vote by the legal residents of Arkansas, following the legal procedure to put items on a ballot.
    Judges should not have this power! On any matter!

  • Jane

    I’m glad we have judges to make right decisions. If it wasn’t for that minoriotes would’ve still been an oppressed people on the south. You can impose your beliefs on everyone else that doesn’t believe how you believe. Thus the separation of church and state. If wasn’t for that we would be like those Muslim countries were their religion runs their government. Can you imagine the advances in science that would’ve have been stopped because of someone’s beliefs based on the bible.

  • P.H.

    First off WELL SAID NS…. I will ask all of you that want to bring the religoin to the table. Why did Jesus die on the cross for our sins. He did it to give us the choice to live the life the way we wanted to. If God wanted everyone to be in Heaven he would have intended on it to be that way. He dies for OUR sins. Everyone sins and in GODS eye a sin is a sin. Drinking too much… a sin… Taking the Lords name in vain.. a sin.. John 8:7.. He who is without sin among, be the first to throw the stone at her. My best friend of 20+ years is a homosexual. Do i agree with her lifestyle as a homosexual… No. but I will love her and never judge her for her choosin of a partner of lifestyle. That is the way it should be!

  • BAB

    @Brooker813: I can get married in Arkansas now and not feel bad because everyone can get married to who they want here. Equality for all!

  • Believer

    This is the workings of the devil. Love and equal rights has nothing to do with this. Yes, we all sin. One sin is no different than the other. We will all have to answer one day for those sins. I don’t push my beliefs on no one but I will try to show my faith in GOD when it is appropriate. But, right now I feel this homosexuality issue is being pushed into the main stream for political reasons that has nothing to do with our constitution. The BIBLE also says great nations will fall also. Is this where we are heading?

  • Hilarious

    Look on the bright side of this issue, maybe this will pave the way for the so called bigoted hillbillies to bring their goat out of the barn and get equal rights for them and marry. Like Phil Robertson said beastiality is what it is. This world is in bad shape. And no this is not what GOD intended. This is what GOD warned us about what would happen.

    • Arnold Fudpucker

      Just wondering if you think everyone who doesn’t agree with you is a hillbilly, bigot or racist? I know you haven’t thrown out the racist thing yet but I and everyone else knew it would come out eventually.

  • P.H

    So I guess we need to start judging for people who work on Sundays. Isnt that a sin too? Its one of the Ten Comandments

    • concerned citizen

      Really? The seventh day is the Sabbath. Constantine changed the day of worship in 325 A.D. so Christians wouldn’t be confused with Jews. Racism was flourishing back then.

  • Angie

    This is so wonderful! Can you imagine not being able to marry the live of your life? I sure can’t.

  • Elaphas

    Democracy is dead. In its place, liberal extremist judges disregard the will of the people in favor of their own flawed ideology, emboldening fascist thugs who intimidate dissenters into slience by calling them racists and bigots. There is no reason to be proud of what America has become.

  • jody0000

    For all those Christians who disagree with the judges decision (I do) should not apply for a marriage license. Marriage should be performed by the Church, not the state. It is by God’s authority man and women get married, not the authority of the state. If your pastor won’t marry you because you don’t have a state permit, then ask him whether he gets his authority from the state, or from God.

    • Arnold Fudpucker

      Just thought about something. I wonder if you have to provide appropriate I.D. to get a marriage license?

  • vivien

    Homosexuality is straight from the depths of Hell. It is a plague on the souls of Gods children…

  • Joe Who?

    One thing you can count on, Channel 5 will try to capture these marriages on video, and cram them in our faces on your local news @ 5, 6, 10 and 4:30…

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