Nearly a week after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that states must recognize and issue same-sex marriage licenses, most Arkansas county clerks are complying. KUAR conducted a brief survey of clerks offices on the number of same-sex or gender-neutral licenses issued in the state's 10 most populous counties.
Clerks offices in those counties report about 92 same-sex or gender neutral marriage licenses have been issued since the Supreme Court decision was released last week. Of those, Pulaski, Washington, Benton and Craighead counties account for about two-thirds of the licenses.
In Pulaski County, about a third (36 of 111) marriage licenses issued since 9am last Friday until 9am Thursday have been gender neutral.
These numbers add to nearly 500 same-sex licenses issued during a brief span last year after Pulaski County judge Chris Piazza ruled the Arkansas voter-approved ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court issued a stay on Piazza's order and gay marriage licenses ceased to be issued until the U.S. high court's decision.
According to the Association of Arkansas Counties, clerks from around the state will submit official marriage license forms to the Arkansas Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records later this month.
Number of same-sex or gender neutral licenses issued in 10 Arkansas counties since last Friday, by county (numbers reflect information gathered around noon, Thursday, July 2nd):
Pulaski: 36 gender-neutral licenses issued (as of 9am Thursday)
Craighead: at least 10