A day after an Arkansas state judge ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violates equal protection provisions in the U.S. Constitution, Jennifer Rambo, 26, and Kristin Seaton, 27, were the first to take advantage of legal marriage in the buckle of the Bible Belt. The couple drove all night in order to be first in line.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza’s ruling overturned a 2004 constitutional amendment supported overwhelmingly by voters as well as a 1997 state law.
“Arkansas’s marriage laws discriminate against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because they do not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest necessary to support even a rational basis review,” Piazza wrote in a 13-page finding filed on Friday.
Arkansas attorney general intends to appeal. To date, seventeen states plus the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.