Arkansas Attorney General Approves Language for 2016 Marriage Equality Ballot Measure

McDanielArkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (pictured) has accepted language for a proposed 2016 ballot measure submitted by Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality (AIME) that would repeal the state's constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage and would bring marriage equality to the Natural State.

Back in September, McDaniel approved the wording of a proposed 2014 ballot measure by a separate group that would repeal the constitutional amendment, but wouldn't specifically call for legalizing gay marriage. The Houston Chronicle reports:

[AIME Founder Jack Weir] said he planned to help the group trying to get the gay marriage ban repeal on the ballot next year while also gathering support for his 2016 proposal. McDaniel had rejected earlier versions of Weir's proposal because it didn't address the ban currently in the constitution.

"It's going to take a lot of effort from our people and the newcomers we'll have in the next three years," he said. "I see people's hearts and minds changing every time we go to an event and talk to people. I see a big change coming in Arkansas."

Weir said he hopes to quickly begin gathering the necessary 78,133 signatures from registered voters needed to place the proposal on the ballot. 


  1. Ken says

    This makes no sense for Arkansas. Need to focus on winning first in the states where the poll numbers look better. Oregon, Colorado. Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, Arizona.

  2. BigBlackMariah says

    What do the poll numbers in Arkansas look like now? What did they look like a year ago? Three years ago?

    Maybe they figure, based on poll numbers, that by 2016 it won’t be too early for Arkansas.

    Would be great to get a southern state to vote for equality. I’m afraid Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, etc are out of the question. Maybe they are betting on Arkansans being better people than some in other southern states.

  3. alex says

    I really don’t understand some people. Why are you criticizing an Arkansas group who is trying to do something to make their state a better place to live?

  4. Craig Nelson says

    I don’t want to criticise people doing something but…. There are a lot of other states where it is well worth doing this as has already been mentioned like Oregon, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, Arizona.

    In these states there is a chance of winning but no certainty. The process of a public vote is so mean spirited and nasty you need good chances just to endure it and certainly to get good donations and volunteer support you need better than evens chances. You definitely need to be ahead in the polls and have a strong existing organisation, preferably a strong Democratic party base that support equality. Ideally you would be ahead by 10 points to start off with. I think all these things were present in California during Prop 8 but we still lost there.

    According to Nate Silver’s old artice on this Arkansas was fifth from battom in his ranking of support

    With all the other battles going on I think this effort will struggle.

  5. says

    Yes there are more fertile states for this kind of action but those people don’t live in Ohio. They live in Arkansas and they want the same rights those of us in New York and other places now enjoy. It is high time we stopped just waiting for other people to do our winning for us or only concentrating on small victories and easy targets. If you want to win, you have to get out in the field and play and you have to play the whole field. This move does put an interesting spin on the chances of Mark Pryor being re-elected to the Senate next year or a potential Hillary Clinton upset in the state in 2016. These kinds of ballot initiatives could mobilize a conservative base or maybe we will see that it isn’t the divisive issue it once was.

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