Monday, June 15, 2015

207.2 - Good News: Some justice for same-sex couples in Arkansas

Good News: Some justice for same-sex couples in Arkansas

Some more Good News, this on the topic of same-sex marriage.

In May of 2014, Pulaski County (Arkansas) Judge Chris Piazza struck down that state's ban on same-sex marriage. About a week later, the state Supreme Court issued a stay of that ruling pending appeals. But by that time, more than 500 same-sex couples had been issued marriage licenses.

State officials have been refusing to recognize those marriages, insisting they are "void from inception."

The good news here is that on June 9, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ordered Arkansas officials to recognize those marriages, saying the state's failure to do so demonstrated "shameless disrespect for fundamental fairness and equality."

The ruling will enable those couples to enjoy a host of benefits including filing taxes jointly, appearing jointly on a child's birth certificate, enrolling together in state health insurance plans, and even filing for divorce.

Meanwhile, the the Arkansas Supreme Court hasn't indicated when it will rule on same-sex marriage but the US Supreme Court is expected to issue its own ruling some time this month.

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