Arkansas Republicans Fail (For Now) to Pass Resolution Urging State Supreme Court to Uphold Gay Marriage Ban
Conservative Arkansas lawmakers tried to pass a resolution proposed by state Senator Jason Rapert today urging the Supreme Court to uphold the state's ban on gay marriage. It failed, the AP reports:
A non-binding resolution objecting to a judge's decision striking down the ban failed before the Arkansas Legislative Council on a procedural vote Friday. The resolution would have urged justices to overturn Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's ruling striking down all measures preventing gay couples from marrying.
The Arkansas Times has more:
A motion to suspend the rules was necessary for consideration of the resolution because it wasn't filed with adequate notice before the meeting. That required a two-thirds vote. Rep. Greg Leding asked for a roll call. The two-thirds vote failed on the Senate side, with 8-6 in favor, but short of the two-thirds (10) necessary. The House contingent voted heavily for consideration, 19-5. By the roll calls, the resolution would have passed had it been considered.
Then the debate became whether a two-thirds vote of all voting was needed or two-thirds from both the House and Senate delegations. Chair John Edwards, after the division was illustrated, declared the rules suspension had failed.
Rapert argued there should have been an overall roll call vote on the resolution. Edwards gaveled the meeting to a close. Edwards is a term-limited Democrat from one of Little Rock's most liberal districts.
The resolution "is without legal meaning, but it has served its purpose of sending a message of legislative displeasure" to the state Supreme Court, which is considering the appeal of the ruling striking down the ban.
The measure will likely pass when a rules suspension is not necessary.