Justice: Court Voted On Narrow Part Of Gay Marriage Case

Jul 23, 2015

Justice Rhonda Wood

A member of the Arkansas Supreme Court says justices had voted on a narrow part of the appeal over gay marriage shortly before the nation's highest court legalized same-sex marriages.

Justice Rhonda Wood said Thursday that justices had voted in June on a state-specific portion of Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza's May 2014 decision striking down Arkansas' gay marriage ban. Wood said the vote focused on Piazza's ruling that voters can't approve an amendment that conflicts with other rights guaranteed in the constitution.

Wood did not say how the court was preparing to rule. Wood first disclosed the vote in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published Thursday.

Justices last month dismissed the gay marriage appeal, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down same-sex marriage bans nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Randolph County clerk says she will issue same-sex marriage licenses after saying before that she was unsure if she would due to conflicts with her religion.

County clerk Rhonda Blevins tells The Jonesboro Sun that she spoke with an attorney for the Association of Arkansas Counties who advised her to grant the licenses or to consider resigning.

Blevins says after careful consideration, she decided that she would help the county's residents more by staying in office. She says her staff has been supportive while she contemplated her decision. She says no same-sex couples have requested a license in the county since last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized the marriages.