Marriage Equality Arrives In The Bible Belt As Same-Sex Arkansas Couples Wed Today

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 3.06.23 PMThe first marriage licenses ever issued in the state of Arkansas were handed over to Fort Smith couple Krstin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo this morning, effectively squashing the state’s decade-old constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

According to an AP report boldly proclaiming that “gay marriage [has] arrived in the Bible Belt,” the couple had traveled overnight to celebrate the occasion before opponents have the chance to file an appeal.

“Thank god,” Rambo reportedly said after leaving the Carroll County Deputy Clerk’s office, marriage license in hand. The couple were wed on the sidewalk near the county courthouse moments later.

The ceremony was made possible after Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza declared the 2004 voter-approved ban to be unconstitutional, claiming the law “attempted to narrow the definition of equality.”

State Attorney General Dustin McDaniel reportedly claimed he would appeal the ruling, though at time of posting midday Saturday, no such appeal had been filed.

Congrats to Seaton, Rambo, and the hundreds of other couples who were hitched this morning!

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  • Derek Williams

    Hurrah! Now – getting the public to accept this remains the problem

  • Dakotahgeo

    YESSSSSSSS!!! Arkansas has entered the 21st Century, screaming,kicking, and dragging its shoe-less heels all the way to Marriage Equality. Jus’ gotta love it!!!

  • scotshot

    Surprise! Congratulations to the first of many gay couples to tier the knot in Arkansas.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Wow, good for you! Welcome to equality! I wish for you a long, healthy, happy marriage.

  • Shannon1981

    Loving it! If it has happened in Arkansas, it will happen elsewhere.

  • Dakotahgeo

    CanNOT WAIT for the fit to hit the shan in Missouri and Kansas… Ohhhhh, the howling and gnashing of teeth from the unrighteous, irreligious extremists from the right!!! I don’t even drink alcoholic beverages but I SHALL have the “Bubbly” ready!

  • TheNewEnergyDude

    @Shannon1981: Hmmm…I don’t know…if it were Mississippi, then I would be 100% behind you. But…Arkansas is probably a pretty damn good 2nd place. :)

  • Shannon1981

    @TheNewEnergyDude: This gives me hope because Arkansas isn’t exactly known for being gay-friendly. Also, it is the first marriage equality state in the bible belt, which is a huge step. Now, I am really hoping that my home state (South Carolina) and our neighbors in North Carolina will follow suit. Not holding my breath, though.

  • DickieJohnson

    @TheNewEnergyDude: @Shannon1981: Y’all can pretty much count on MS being THE LAST state to fall to marriage equality, and you haven’t yet heard “kicking & screaming”, particularly after just having passed a new law allowing discrimination for one’s “religious beliefs”! Even the Black Democrats voted for it. I am SO embarrassed. I can’t wait for someone to challenge the marriage ban in court!

  • mezzacanadese

    Two women have married, and the sky did not fall. I wish the happy couple many years of happiness.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    DickieJohnson “Fall to marriage equality” (?) I see marriage equality as something to which states opt to rise up and recognize all Americans, even the unpopular ones.

  • LadyL

    What a lovely couple–those girls are positively radiant! Congratulations to them and good for Arkansas.

    As to the Black Democrats and their vote for discrimination on “religious” grounds, that is an old sad story. I highly recommend Anthony Stanford’s book “Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide The Black Community.”

  • Shannon1981

    @LadyL: Sounds like an interesting read. I will definitely check it out, thanks for the rec.

    As for the Black Church- grew up in one, got thrown out for being gay after a whole host of bullshit, including conversion therapy. Won’t set foot in any church for any reason now, except maybe a wedding or funeral, and, even then, I better be damn close to the person or people involved.

  • Mezaien

    Arkansas Couples Wed Today, Y A H O O O O O O. Go for it girls kicked them where it`s hurt most. So nice to see how the days of the D.E.K.C.U.F up Christina are over.

  • FStratford

    Wait until my friends from FL, NC and PA about this. AR is ahead of them when it comes to equality.

    It was tough for them to take that IA got there first, but AR would be oh so sweet for me to yak about.

    The BIG question in my mind now is, will Wal-Mart have to take a stand on gay couple’s benefits now that its pretty much in their backyard? If they do, this issue will penetrate the Bible belt faster than you can say “price rollback”!

  • Wolfwalk

    As someone whose family roots are deep in Arkansas history (the Ft Smith/Alma/Van Buren area)I am so happy to see this happening. With Iowa to the north, Arkansas to the south and Illinois to the east, it’s only a matter of time before Missouri (where I currently reside) will join the 21st century. That is what my partner of 35 years and I are waiting for. Iowa and Illinois are close enough to visit and we love going to Arkansas, but we feel it is important to marry in the state we’ve lived in for over 50 years as a matter of principle.

  • LadyL

    @Shannon1981: I completely agree. I was about to add hope you enjoy Stanford’s book, though on reflection “enjoy” may not be the right word. But it should be required reading in every school in America, IMO.

  • toberlin

    Oh Yes! And the bible belt got an extra-cute first couple…and I belive there live also tons of people who are happy for them.

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