Governor Beebe Says He's Still Opposed To Gay Marriage

Dec 10, 2014

Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he remains opposed to allowing gay couples to marry despite recent rulings against his state's ban, but says he's eased his opposition to allowing them to enter into civil unions.

The two-term Democratic governor said Wednesday that he's changed his stance on some issues regarding gay rights, but still believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.

A federal judge last month struck down Arkansas' constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, but has suspended her ruling. The state Supreme Court is considering a separate case challenging Arkansas' ban.

Beebe says he's open to the idea of civil unions, but it would depend on how they're defined. Beebe spoke at a forum with political columnist John Brummett in a fundraiser for LifeQuest, a nonprofit.

The governor's comments came as outgoing Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is being encouraged not to appeal the judge's decision.  

A petition was delivered to McDaniel Wednesday by plaintiffs in the case.  A spokesman for the attorney general said no decision has been made.