Federal Judge Recuses From Arkansas Gay Marriage Suit

Jul 18, 2013

A federal judge is recusing from a case challenging Arkansas' ban on gay marriage, citing friendships with supporters of the amendment that voters approved banning same-sex unions.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes on Thursday ordered that the lawsuit challenging the ban be assigned to another judge.

Holmes cited personal and professional relationships with leaders who drafted and campaigned for the ban that was approved by voters in 2004.

Holmes wrote that the relationships developed in 1980s working on issues similar, but not identical, to the gay marriage ban.

The case was reassigned to Judge Kristine Baker. Holmes wrote the professional relationships ceased when he became a federal judge, but the personal ones have continued.

Three gay couples filed the lawsuit on Monday.