Same-Sex Marriage in Arkansas

Poll: Arkansas Voters Weigh In On Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Jun 18, 2015

By a nearly two-to-one margin, Arkansas voters believe in the state’s so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was passed by state lawmakers after a contentious and controversial national and state debate.

In the latest poll commissioned by Talk Business & Politics, Hendrix College and Impact Management Group, 1,183 likely Arkansas voters weighed in on this issue and public opinion of a host of state and national elected officials.

Voters were asked:

Gay marriage same-sex marriage Arkansas wendell griffin
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News


A judge is ordering Arkansas officials to recognize over 500 same-sex marriages performed in the state last year. It’s a move that would let the couples enjoy benefits that heterosexual couples can share.

Gay marriage same-sex marriage Arkansas wendell griffin
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A judge says he'll rule in the next two days on whether Arkansas should recognize more than 500 same-sex marriages performed in the state last year.

An attorney for two of the couples told Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen that her clients' rights were being deprived by the state not recognizing their marriage licenses.

The state Supreme Court halted the distribution of marriage licenses to gay couples after a week in May 2014 and is considering the appeal over a voter-approved same sex marriage ban.

The Arkansas Supreme Court says it won't hear new arguments over whether to legalize gay marriage, but will leave a ban in place until it rules.

In unsigned orders Thursday, justices refused to lift a year-old stay. They also won't hear new arguments even though two of its seven members joined the court this year.

gay marriage
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

A northwest Arkansas town known both for a 66-foot-tall Jesus statue and as a gay-friendly tourist destination is voting whether to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Eureka Springs voters are casting ballots Tuesday on whether to keep the expanded anti-discrimination protections adopted in February by the city council.

A vote on an anti-discrimination ordinance is dividing a northwest Arkansas town that's known both for an outdoor play depicting Jesus' final days and as a gay-friendly tourist destination.

Voters in Eureka Springs will decide Tuesday whether to keep a measure that would prohibit the city and private businesses from discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Keeping the measure could prompt a broader legal fight over a state law that takes effect later this year aimed at preventing such local protections.

The Arkansas Supreme Court says its current lineup of justices should decide whether to legalize gay marriage in the state.

Gay marriage same-sex marriage Arkansas
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has deferred arguments and a decision on four same-sex marriage cases until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue.

The court announced Wednesday that it's holding off on "any further consideration" of the cases from South Dakota, Arkansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Arguments were scheduled to begin on May 12 in Omaha, Nebraska.

All four states are appealing federal judges' decisions to overturn gay marriage bans.

The Supreme Court began hearing arguments Tuesday and could decide by June whether gay couples can marry nationwide.

Officials in Arkansas' most populous county and one of its most popular tourist destinations are considering prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, expanding the pushback against a new state law criticized as anti-gay.

A member of the Hot Springs city board said Tuesday she's proposing prohibiting the city and its vendors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. A member of Pulaski County's quorum court said he's drafting a similar anti-discrimination ordinance.

The mayor of Jonesboro has said a proposal from Arkansas State University students to add protections for gays and lesbians to the city's anti-discrimination policy is unnecessary.

The Jonesboro Sun reports Mayor Harold Perrin made his announcement Tuesday. He says the language in the city's personnel handbook is broad enough to cover all types of discrimination.