Same-Sex Marriage in Arkansas

Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Licenses By The Numbers

Jul 2, 2015

Nearly a week after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that states must recognize and issue same-sex marriage licenses, most Arkansas county clerks are complying. KUAR conducted a brief survey of clerks offices on the number of same-sex or gender-neutral licenses issued in the state's 10 most populous counties.

A marriage ceremony being performed in the Pulaski County Courthouse in May 2014.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

At least two Arkansas counties have not issued same-sex marriage licenses as clerks with religious objections struggle to comply with state and federal orders.

Cleburne and Randolph county officials said Wednesday that they haven't had gay couples seek licenses, but it's unclear if any such request would be granted.

The Cleburne County clerk resigned Tuesday after voicing objections to Friday's Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. County Judge Jerry Holmes says it's unclear if deputy clerks will issue licenses to gay couples.

same-sex marriage license
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A county clerk in Arkansas plans to resign effective June 30 because of a moral objection to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Cleburne County Clerk Dana Guffey said Monday she has notified the county judge of her plans to resign. She says she has a moral objection to issuing the marriage licenses following Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriages nationwide. She said the decision to leave the post after 24 years was not made out of hate.

Office officials say no same-sex marriage licenses had been issued as of Monday afternoon.

same-sex marriage 6-26-15
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR News

Same-sex couples are getting married in Arkansas after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling Friday that state same-sex  marriage bans are unconstitutional. 

The 5-to-4 decision has LGBT people in Arkansas rejoicing and state conservative groups lambasting the decision.

same-sex marriage Jennifer Rambo (middle) and her wife, Kriston Seaton
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

Despite a judge’s ruling last week that same-sex marriages conducted last year in Arkansas must be legally recognized, many of those couples report being frustrated by bureaucratic obstacles so far. 

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.