Marriage Equality Kicks Off in the South as Eureka Springs, AR Begins Issuing Licenses to Gay Couples

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Carroll County Deputy Clerk Lana Gordon, despite turning away same-sex couples earlier this morning, has relented and allowed her office to begin issuing licenses to waiting couples at the courthouse in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The news comes a day after Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza issued a ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 10.57.05 AMKUAF’s Jacqueline Froelich reports that Gordon requested an attorney general's opinion this morning on whether she could issue licenses to same-sex couples. When she didn't hear back, she made the unilateral decision to not issue them and closed the office.

Around 50 couples and some supporters were gathered, but the police came to the courthouse and asked everyone to disperse. Now, the courthouse seems to be opening back up again after another deputy clerk in training, Jane Osborne, announced she would issue the licenses. 

The Arkansas Times adds that the Association of Arkansas Counties has scheduled a conference call for county clerks and county attorneys at 2 p.m. today to discuss ramifications of yesterday's Piazza ruling.


[photos via Instagram]



  1. says

    I read elsewhere that they had issued licenses to 2 straight couples today and then closed the office but the gay couples refused to leave. I am glad they finally decided to issue the licenses.

  2. james says

    I think the legal status of same-sex marriage in Arkansas, despite Judge Piazza’s ruling, is sufficiently uncertain that I would be hesitant to get same-sex married today. This case is far from concluded.

  3. Mike in the Tundra says

    James, you must be a troll. The “same-sex married” is a dead give away. Two guys or two women just get married. Plain old “married” is the correct wording.

  4. says

    @James: If you’re hesitant to get married in Arkansas today, no one is going to force you to. Many couples, however, are likely quite happy and willing to take the risk. Temporary legal uncertainty isn’t so bad for couples who, until today, certainly couldn’t wed in their home state.

    Congratulations to the newlyweds in Arkansas today!

  5. Icebloo says

    We need to organize some way of thanking the new Deputy Clerk Jane Osborne for stepping up and having the balls to issue the licenses. She sounds like a decent person. I am glad she was around when the other pathetic bit$h would not issue licenses.

  6. Liam says

    Pulaski County, which contains the capital city Little Rock, is issuing licenses today. The Falkner County clerk said she will not issue any licenses to gay people because a “judges ruling does not effect the law, only a ruling from the Arkansas Supreme Court can over turn this law”. She has an interesting understanding of how the law works!