The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision Wednesday that a federal same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional could impact public policy in Arkansas.
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor supported the Defense of Marriage Act and says the high court’s ruling still recognizes that marriage contracts should be left up to individual states.
“Arkansas has made the determination that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Pryor said. “I support and respect the state’s decision and my personal belief that marriage is between a man and a woman has not changed.”
Pryor, a Democrat, says he does not know whether efforts to promote marriage equality in other states will lead to changes in Arkansas law.
In 2004, 75 percent of Arkansas voters approved Constitutional Amendment 83 that makes it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions.
U.S. Senator John Boozman says he was disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“I support the Defense of Marriage Act,” said Boozman. “We certainly don’t want to discriminate against anyone and yet the reality is that for centuries the definition of marriage has been between a man and a woman. I think that as far as society is concerned [traditional marriage] seems to be the best approach in regard to families.”
Boozman, a Republican, says he believes a majority of Arkansans are against same-sex marriage and, contrary to the high court’s decision, the federal government should be allowed to dictate federal law.