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Opinion, reaction in Arkansas gay-marriage ruling

  • Article by: The Associated Press
  • Associated Press
  • May 9, 2014 - 10:20 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas judge on Friday struck down the state's 10-year-old ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional. Listed are some quotes from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's 13-page order, plus reaction to his decision:

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"Arkansas's marriage laws discriminate against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because they do not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest." — Piazza's order.

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"The Plaintiffs' desire to publicly declare their vows of commitment and support to each other is a testament to the strength of marriage in society, not a sign that, by opening its doors to all individuals, it is in danger of collapse." — Piazza's order, quoting a Utah federal judge.

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In rejecting the state's claim that opposite-sex marriage promotes procreation: "Procreation is not a prerequisite in Arkansas for a marriage license. Opposite-sex couples may choose not to have children or they may be infertile, and certainly we are beyond trying to protect the gene pool. A marriage license is a civil document and is not, nor can it be, based upon any particular faith. Same-sex couples are a morally disliked minority and the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages is driven by animus rather than a rational basis. This violates the United States Constitution." — Piazza's order.

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"Tradition alone cannot form a rational basis for a law. The fact that a particular discrimination has been 'traditional' is even more of a reason to be skeptical of its rationality." — Piazza's order.

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