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Hundreds of Gay Couples File into Pulaski County, Arkansas Courthouse for Marriage Licenses: VIDEO

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Hundreds of gay couples are filing into the Pulaski County Arkansas courthouse as we speak to be issued marriage licenses.

The Arkansas Times writes:

County Clerk Larry Crane plans to issue them under Judge Chris Piazza's ruling last week.

Most counties in Arkansas will not be issuing licenses, relying on legal guidance that — if the counties were not defendants in the case (only six were) — and absent a direct order to cease discriminatory practices, the state ban remains in place in those counties. At least one county that IS a defendant — Lonoke — apparently has announced it will not issue licenses. 

Several counties hoped to raise an objection about lack of proper software as a delaying tactic in hopes a court will stay the order. But even the county attorney in Republican Benton County, while claiming exemption for that county because it isn't a defendant, said claiming lack of software was a poor excuse. The counties could simply return to using paper and typewriters as they did in the pre-computer days. Perhaps a request for a contempt of court order would get Lonoke's attention.

More from the Benton County Clerk:

Benton County Clerk Tena O'Brien said Benton County was not a party to the Pulaski County case. She said until a court having jurisdiction over Benton County makes a determination similar to that made by the Pulaski County Circuit Court, Amendment 83 remains binding in Benton County and will be respected.

The county clerk said the decision is not a stance against gay marriage. She said if the law requires it, she will issue the licenses.

Watch a brief Instagram video of inside the courthouse, AFTER THE JUMP...

Arkansas native and HRC head Chad Griffin is on hand:

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  1. We must remain aware of verbiage as we seek the equality we are entitled to. The opposition is constantly scanning exact phrasing in these cases to use it to their advantage to maintain inequality. There seems to always be a bit of wiggle room left for the opposition, just in case they might like it.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | May 12, 2014 9:28:58 AM

  2. Maybe I am missing something, but after the book controversy and this, I'm completely confused about Griffin's role in the fight for marriage equality. When I think of the LGBT orgs that have led the charge, I think more of AFER, ACLU, Lambda Legal, GLAD. I do not think of HRC. What exactly has been HRC's role - legally, financially, otherwise - in the fight for marriage equality. As someone who isn't very interested in crowning a king of the prom here, I don't follow much about the individuals involved. I would just offer my observation that a book claiming otherwise does not mean in my mind when I think of the fight for equality, I ever think of HRC or Griffin.

    Posted by: Samwell | May 12, 2014 9:36:15 AM

  3. Is Chad Griffin marrying his boyfriend?

    Posted by: Sergio | May 12, 2014 9:41:20 AM

  4. the marriages of straight couples all over arkansas must be falling apart as we speak.

    Posted by: woody | May 12, 2014 9:53:34 AM

  5. Wow, I had no idea Arkansas had so many gay couples in it. Awesome!

    Posted by: Marco | May 12, 2014 10:10:44 AM

  6. Samwell, Chad Griffin has done a lot for SSM. He also happens to be the current head of HRC.

    Posted by: BobN | May 12, 2014 10:13:22 AM

  7. BOBN, yes I am aware of his position at HRC. That was sort of the question. What exactly has he (both at HRC and before) and HRC itself done? "has done a lot" is not an answer to that question.

    Posted by: Samwell | May 12, 2014 10:21:57 AM

  8. And I mean to position that question as in comparison to the other organizations I mentioned above who devoted time, money, etc. to the actual legal battles. In comparison to that, what has HRC done?

    Posted by: Samwell | May 12, 2014 10:22:50 AM

  9. Ah, yes, HRC: late to the marriage party and now it thinks it owns the party.

    Posted by: keating | May 12, 2014 10:41:48 AM

  10. @Samwell: If you're aware of what AFER is, then how can't you be aware that Griffin, Black et al raised the millions of dollars it took for them to bring their lawsuit? Pinche troll.

    Posted by: I Don't Suffer Fools, I Make Fools Suffer | May 12, 2014 11:19:48 AM

  11. CORRECTION: isn't the person in the third photo misidentified? "Forcing the Spring" author Jo Becker would have the captions read:

    "Rosa Parks is on hand" and "'Today wedding bells are ringing in the great state of Arkansas'. - Rosa Parks at Pulaski co courthouse."

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | May 12, 2014 11:35:33 AM

  12. @I DON'T SUFFER FOOLS: Right, but HRC, what did it do? Did it give money to AFER or the other orgs to pay the bills? I understand Griffin's role from his time at AFER. It is just strange to me that people want to associate/credit HRC with a lot more than they probably should be credited for. I'll give Griffin his due for AFER's work, but don't think because he is now in charge of HRC that somehow they should be lauded for much. And I'll frankly give credit to GLAD, Roberta Kaplan and the ACLU for actually giving us something to work with legally speaking.

    The biggest mistake made with AFER was not getting Boies Schiller to do this pro bono.

    Posted by: Samwell | May 12, 2014 2:48:23 PM

  13. Simply wonderful! This shows the bible-belt South that yes, there are thousands of gays that live among you and all we want is equality and the pursuit of happiness. The more they see these happy celebrations, the more it will sink into their skulls. Kudos to Pulaski County for taking the lead and not coming up with lame excuses to delay granting marriage licenses.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | May 12, 2014 3:08:37 PM

  14. @SamWell: HRC likes to have its fingers in every pie, sometimes legitimately, sometimes less so. They're more of an umbrella organization, involved in messaging and lobbying (and fundraising), not on the legal front lines.

    Chad Griffin is from Arkansas so it does make sense that he would be back in his native state for this milestone. And he's not about to hide his HRC position while he's there. It's his job, regardless of their involvement--or lack thereof--in individual marriage cases.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 12, 2014 5:24:52 PM

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