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Ten years after Arkansas voters passed a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, a judge struck down the ban late yesterday. This morning, the first same-sex marriage license was issued. The decision came down late yesterday by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza. Here is a quote from the ruling:

Although marriage is not expressly identified as a fundamental right in the Constitution, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized it as such."

Writing of the ban, Piazza added:

This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality. The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.""

Dustin McDaniel, the state attorney general and a Democrat, opposes the ban, but said he would defend the voter-approved measure in court. He requested a stay on the ruling, but after the request went unaddressed, it was game on.

Judges have struck down same-sex marriage bans in a number of states although all of the rulings have been issued with stays from enforcement so that appeals can take place.

For example, earlier this spring, same-sex couples in Michigan were permitted to marry during a seven-hour window before a stay was issued. The state is not recognizing those marriages...yet. We'll see what happens in Arkansas.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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