Gay Marriage

Arkansas Judge Strikes Down State's Gay Marriage Recognition Ban

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I couldn't pull off those colors.
Credit: erin m / photo on flickr

A county circuit judge in Arkansas has ruled that the state's voter-approved ban on recognizing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and struck it down this evening. He ruled that the state had no rational reason for enacting the ban. From the Associated Press:

"This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality," [Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris] Piazza wrote. "The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent."

The ruling came nearly a week after state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced he personally supports gay marriage rights but that he will continue to defend the constitutional ban in court. McDaniel's office said he would appeal the ruling.

"We respect the Court's decision, but, in keeping with the Attorney General's obligation to defend the state constitution, we will appeal," spokesman Aaron Sadler said. "We will request that Judge Piazza issue a stay of his ruling so as not to create confusion or uncertainty about the law while the Supreme Court considers the matter."

The marriage license offices in the county were already closed when the ruling was handed down so there won't be any sudden weddings, even though the judge did not indicate a stay on his decision.

These bans are dropping like flies, though given that these are preliminary judicial rulings, anything can happen. Judges have eliminated bans in Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Texas, though they're all currently stayed for appeals. Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee are being ordered to recognize gay marriages performed in states where it's legal.

NEXT: Texas School Suspends Student for Declining to Worship the Flag—Because That's What America's All About

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  1. I’m glad these enlightened judges are available to validate people’s relationships for them.

    1. I’m glad you apparently think that all relationships are equal, though some are more equal than others.

      1. I’m glad nobody on this blog would resort to cheap sarcasm to make a point.

        1. Me too.

      2. I’m glad you apparently think that all relationships are equal, though some are more equal than others.

        Not a bad working definition of “marriage”. I’m glad making a few more people more equal than others is sufficient for your conscience.

        1. I’m an anarchist. I don’t want any government involvement in marriage at all. Or any government at all. But if we are stuck with government involvement, I want to disempower the bastards from giving anyone preferential. You want to gay marry, or group marry, or whatever, they gotta approve — everyone gets the same legal regime.

  2. Allow me to use my talent for precognition to predict the rest of this thread.

    Conservatives: Judicial activism! 14th didn’t mean that when it was passed!

    Liberals: Judges protecting rights! Anyone opposed is a closeted gai!

    Conservatives: Anti-religious bigot!

    Liberals: Anti-gay bigot!

    …and so on.

    1. Well you just ruined a lot of fun for John and Bo.

    2. /thread

  3. But the ban on Warty-SF marriages is still in place, right?

    1. They eloped to Ceti Alpha V where it’s legal.

      1. You lie! On Ceti Alpha V there was life! A fair chance to–

        1. KENTUCKY IS CETI ALPHA V!!!

        2. THIS IS CETI ALPHA V!!!!!

      2. I thought Risa would be the one place their love for one another would be truly accepted.

  4. Tis bracing to be alive now that gay first cousins can get married.

    1. You joke, but Arkansas is actually one of 25 states that explicitly outlaws first cousin marriage. A lot of the states where cousin marriage is legal probably aren’t the ones you’d associated with inbred rednecks:

      http://www.ncsl.org/research/h…..cousi.aspx

      1. First cousins can legally marry each other in California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., New Jersey and New York. But cannot in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Explains a lot.

  5. Dude that makes no sense at all man.

    http://www.YourAnon.tk

  6. “This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality,” [Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris] Piazza wrote. “The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.”

    Scuze me Judge, but how about thousands of years of tradition. There is nothing in the Arkansas Constitution about marriage. Thus issues like this are decided by the legislature or the people by direct referendum. This is Judicial tyranny at it worst.

    1. “There is nothing in the Arkansas Constitution about marriage.”

      He relied on the federal 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the fundamental right to marry protected by the Due Process Clause.

      1. An exercise, of course, in question begging. The “fundamental right to marry” certainly isn’t an enumerated right, which would generally make it the purview of the states via the 10th.

        1. “The “fundamental right to marry” certainly isn’t an enumerated right, which would generally make it the purview of the states via the 10th.”

          Well, there is this amendment that comes right before that one you mention. Heck, take a look at even the last part of the Amendment you cite.

          Additionally, the right “to marry, establish a home and bring up children” was recognized as part of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause by that wacky, Progressive court of 1923.

          1. So is my right to commit murder infringed by state laws because of the 9th amendment?

            Damn, I gotta lotta catchin up to do!

            1. The 9th and 10th Amendment do not say everything unenumerated is protected, just that there are unenumerated rights that are guaranteed to the people. So PM’s argument if some right “isn’t an enumerated right, [that] would generally make it the purview of the states via the 10th” is all kinds of wrong. It forgets the 9th and part of the 10th itself.

              1. But if it’s not necessarily protected by the 9th, how do you know it’s exempt from the 10th? Because of the 9th? The 10th says, “…States, or the people.” OK, I choose State. Prove me wrong.

                1. But if it’s not necessarily protected by the 9th, how do you know it’s exempt from the 10th?

                  That being the entire fucking point. The only other case I can think of where an unenumerated right discovered by the courts in the penumbra usurped the states’ powers is Roe v Wade with regard to state bans on abortion.

          2. that wacky, Progressive court of 1923.

            Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was not a progressive?

          3. The 9A establishes that unenumerated rights are retained by the people, the 10th delegates unenumerated powers to the people. You have to go through quite a bit of gymnastics to get from those two principles to denying an unenumerated power to the states because the exercise of that power ostensibly violates an unenumerated right.

            Additionally, the right “to marry, establish a home and bring up children” was recognized as part of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause by that wacky, Progressive court of 1923.

            Great sarc, except that 1923 was, in point of fact, hot on the heels of the so-called “Progressive Era”.

            That aside, courts constructing positive rights is generally seen as a bad thing by libertarians. Understood as such, your own logic makes a convincing argument that the state also owes married couples a home and must provide them with children if they so desire. I’m guessing you probably don’t want to extend the same logic to that entire sentence though.

            1. You have to go through quite a bit of gymnastics to get from those two principles to denying an unenumerated power to the states because the exercise of that power ostensibly violates an unenumerated right.

              Not really. The Constitution does not allow the states to unreasonably ban people from behavior in a discriminatory manner.

              1. Prohibiting behavior isn’t at question in this particular case — it’s access to a legal remedy. You have to take a lot of assumptions for granted to make that particular logic work. And ironically, once you do take those assumptions, no restriction on access to civil marriage is legitimate, and the entire institution should come crashing down. Of course it won’t, and something tells me that despite protestations to the contrary, you probably wouldn’t like it if it did.

    2. “Thus issues like this are decided by the legislature or the people by direct referendum. This is Judicial tyranny at it worst.”

      For what it’s worth, these judges in Arkansas are elected.

    3. “Tradition” has no legal bearing and is not a rational reason for anything. Suck it SnoConz; your butthurt is delicious.

      1. Suck it SnoConzlibertarians; your butthurt is delicious.

        Lol, remember that statement the next time you’re whinging about penaltaxes or the Keystone pipeline. Your own salty ham tears are equally tasty.

        1. Hm, it’s interesting you talk about libertarians not in the first person.

          1. I don’t think SIV has ever claimed to be a libertarian.

            1. SIV is PM?

              Well, that actually makes sense and explains a lot (though not why when he is SIV he says he will not engage me, but when he is PM he does a lot, that’s a bit kooky).

              1. Where the fuck did I say he was PM? No, I don’t think he’s PM, he has just always been a grumpy social-con. I’ve never seen him actually claim to be libertarian.

                1. Shit…sorry, nevermind, I could have sworn you were repliyng to SIV.

              2. Well, that actually makes sense and explains a lot

                Coming from blue Tulpa, I’ll take that for what it’s worth.

          2. Hm, it’s interesting you talk about libertarians not in the first person.

            Yes, it’s very interesting that I would re-appropriate a retarded syllogism to expose its underlying retardation and demonstrate the ease with which it can be turned around on the speaker by substituting one word for another.

            Let’s see if we can break this down to a level you can wrap your advanced legal mind around:

            What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

            (And isn’t it interesting that I would talk about ganders not in the first person? Really makes you think, doesn’t it?)

        2. Your crappy reasoning skills are typical of SnoConez.

          1. Sorry, but “fuck you, we won” is a pretty easy syllogism to deconstruct. Also popular among SNOCONEZ!!!!!(!!!)!!!!

    4. There’s nothing in the Arkansas Constitution about pizza, either.

  7. The libertarian case against Gay marriage

    http://www.theamericanconserva…..-marriage/

    1. Which also applies in full to straight marriage.

      1. Now you’re talking.

  8. I am a pretty big proponent of same sex marriage recognition, but this line from the opinion is just barf-worthy: “It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters.”

    1. Nothing says “shining beacon of freedom” like the state doling out special privileges to qualified pairs of people based on who they are fucking.

      1. Actually they’re just extending those benefits. Do all SnoConez have a special part of their brain that activates on exposure to certain issues and turns the SnoCone into a whiny mendacious cunt?

        1. Speaking of mendacious cunts, why don’t you go ahead and explain the difference between “extending benefits” and “doling out privileges”. I suppose that tax rebate check and those stamps on the immigration papers just magically appear without the intervention of the state?

          I won’t ask you to explain how doing away with the entire civil institution of marriage because it is a tool of nobility-granting is SNOCONEZ!!!!!!!!(!!!!)!!!!!!!!, because I’m afraid you might actually do it.

          1. The legal right to not get deported for residing in the US is a positive right?

            1. No, the “right” to not get deported for residing in the US because you happen to be fucking the right person is.

              1. That’s not a positive right, that’s the government infringing on the negative rights of some people while not infringing on the negative rights of others. Problematic, to be sure, I don’t disagree with you their, but that doesn’t make it a positive right anymore than white people in NYC have a positive right to not get stop and frisked because they have a certain skin color.

  9. But, but, DEMOCRACY!!!

    Citizens United was a travesty because it subverts democracy. This is a noble cause because it, um, er, nevermind.

    I don’t have a beef with the outcome. I just have a problem with those who only like selective rights outside of the will of the collective.

    1. There’s always the tyranny of the majority.

      Our system is pretty clever in its way of attacking the Tyranny of the Majority.

      I know many people in this country are offended by gays, blacks, women, the poor, the rich, the unemployed, the overpaid, the immigrants, the religious people, etc.

      But these “activist judges” do tend to come to their rescue. And, I for one, see this as a good thing.

      1. So CU was a good decision, right? Involuntary progressive taxation is a bad thing, right?

        This should be fun.

        1. I’m afraid the Tyranny of the Majority will happen to Racist People once they become the minority.

          This is an example. Not to say Citizens United is a racist organization.

          I am not happy with Citizen’s United. And, btw, they tend to represent a significant number of people in this country.

          1. Judicial activism is awesome when it defends the rights of people I like but not when it defends the rights of people I don’t like. /AB

            1. *Ding* And its assholes like this that I truly despise. There are plenty of people and groups that I dislike, but I respect their rights to do as they please as long as they do the same for me and leave me the fuck alone.

            2. Lol. I suppose she could have been more succinct and just said:

              Suck it racists, your butthurt is delicious

              It took you less than half a page in the very same thread to make my point for me.

          2. I don’t know what racism has to do with what I asked.

            CU was really about free speech. Why are you unhappy with it?

        2. My majority is awesome! Your majority sucks!

  10. Would the area SnoConez care to explain why allowing inter-racial marriage was a Bad Thing and the states were totally within their rights to bar them?

    1. I always smirk a bit when the banning and subsequent un-banning of interracial marriage is trotted out as an example of why the state’s continued involvement in the practice is a good thing. A better question might be what right the state had in licensing marriages in the first place, and how much more difficult that type of discrimination would be if the state never held that power. Instead we fall back on what “rational” basis there is to discriminate based on race or sexual orientation (but not other arbitrary dimension), as if it weren’t laughably absurd that there were any rational basis for treating some people differently for legal purposes than others based on who they are fucking.

  11. “The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.”

    Except, of course, if the minority in question comprises drug users.

    1. Or any unpopular group of any kind.

  12. Well, we can officially retire the idea that last year’s *Windsor* opinion was about federalism. Rand Paul, bless his heart, interpreted it that way at the time:

    “The good side to this ruling is that they have affirmed to states that this is a state issue and states can decide,” he said, offering this message to people who oppose recognition of gay marriage: “The battle is going to be lost at the federal level. Concentrate on your state.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/…..e/2459893/

    1. All it proves is that Paul is mendacious or gullible.

  13. Ron Wyden: The Best Democrat.

    The article is behind a paywall, but Ron Wyden argues in favor of decreasing the top corporate tax rate to 24% and simplifying the tax code in order to cut down on compliance costs.

    There’s some stuff in there with which I disagree, but this is the most reasonable article on taxes I’ve ever seen a Democrat write.

    1. There’s some stuff in there with which I disagree, but this is the most reasonable article on taxes I’ve ever seen a Democrat write.

      That’s a pretty low bar…

  14. New York legislator: All Your Children Are Belong to Us

    New York parents will be forced to return to school for government-run parenting classes if state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., D-Bronx, has his way.

    Diaz is sponsoring legislation that would require the parents of elementary school students to attend four “parent support programs” before their children are allowed to enter seventh grade.

    Diaz tells U.S. News mandatory courses are necessary because many parents do not attend optional parent-teacher conferences.

    “Voluntary is what we have now, where we require parents to voluntarily meet with the teachers and come to parent-teacher meetings, and as you know they don’t come,” he says.

    The bill would require the New York State Education Department to establish 12 parenting courses ? of which parents would select four to attend. Diaz envisions the classes helping parents deal with issues such as sexual orientation, bullying and suicide, and the bill specifically mandates a course on physical, emotional and sexual abuse…

    Diaz says parents who feel capable of raising their children without state-provided instruction shouldn’t be upset by the proposal.

    “We are not saying they are irresponsible,” Diaz says. “We are trying to expand their skills.

    That last quote.

    1. I’m not saying Diaz is a pathetic would-be tyrant who couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel, but…

      Hmmm, maybe I *am* saying all that stuff above.

      1. Send him to mandatory pour-piss-out-of-a-boot classes.

        1. But it would take more than 12 courses for him.

    2. Well isn’t the purpose of the Public Schools to save the children from Catholic Priests and Nuns?

    3. This is why we need parental licensing.

      1. There should be licensing for politicians. May-issue only. Haven’t issued any yet.

  15. You Know Who Else argued that no reforms can be made until the existing social, political and economic order is overthrown?

    And You Know Who Else argued that while the existing social, political and economic order must be overthrown we should in the meantime make sure the State is handing out benefits to everyone?

    1. You know, “check your privilege” has become one of those overused clich?s where its meaning of the phrase and the individual words have ceased to have meaning to me and are just a bunch of random letters thrown about.

    2. There is indeed such a thing as privilege inasmuch as skin color, ethnicity, creed, and orientation will result in some people facing discrimination that others may not.

      But these are symptoms of a society that does not value individual rights or hold the right of people to be left in peace sacrosanct

      Social justice warriors may correctly sense a problem, but their solutions are collectivist are ultimately will only perpetuate more injustice by eroding individual liberty in the name of equality.

    3. Fuck, I must be bored. I actually read about half of that article.

      I am calling bullshit on it. Complete bullshit.

      1. Complete bullshit on the half you read? So in theory, the article might be as little as 50% bullshit.

    4. Wanna see some quality hypocrisy?

      Jezebel, the one-stop shopping for check your privilege news, posted this recently-

      Dolly Parton’s Boobs and Arms Are Covered in Secret Tattoos

      And the comments are all “hey, this is kinda bullshit that this site is objectifying Dolly Parton” and yet the hypocrisy remains transparent.

      Gotta love it.

  16. Fire tornadoes

    Check out this image of a fire tornado that Instagram user Janae Copelin captured near Chillicothe, Mo.

    These fire tornados can form when intense heat combines with high winds.

    Copelin, who goes by the Instagram user name nicejalapeno, captured the image about a mile north of 190 Highway on Saturday, May 3rd.

    Copelin said she was heading out for a day in St. Joseph, Mo., with her daughter and a friend when she saw the flames.

    “Thanks to my love of Instagram I chose to drive by and as I stopped to take a picture the wind whipped up the fire into this funnel,” Copelin said in an email to KMBC 9 News. “The sound and heat were intense and a bit scary not knowing if it would stay put, but it only lasted a couple minutes.”

    Perhaps God was helping some Jews escape slavery?

    1. awesome

  17. “WILKESBORO, N.C.?Each month, Irene Triplett collects $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, a pension payment for her father’s military service?in the Civil War….

    “In January 1863, Pvt. Triplett transferred to the 26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment….

    “…Pvt. Triplett was “present or accounted for until he deserted on June 26, 1863,” state records say….

    “…Pvt. Triplett crossed the mountains to Knoxville, Tenn., where on Aug. 1, 1864, he joined a Union regiment, the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry….

    “Pvt. Triplett had farmland and a big house near Elk Creek, in Wilkes County, N.C….He wore a Wyatt Earp mustache and would pull the fangs from rattlesnakes, then keep them as pets in a chicken coop….

    “After Mary Triplett’s death in the 1920s, Pvt. Triplett married Elida Hall, nearly 50 years his junior….

    “… Irene was born in 1930 when her father was age 83 and her mother 34….

    “Medicaid pays [Irene’s] expenses at the home, supplemented by the VA pension her father earned her in 1865.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/art…..52394.html

    1. the 26th regiment he deserted from was Confederate; the Union regiment he joined later was called Kirk’s Raiders –

      http://digitalheritage.org/2010/08/kirks-raiders/

  18. STEVE SMITH LOVE GAY MARRIAGE! GAY MARRIAGE MEAN GAY WEDDINGS AND A LOT MORE HOT JUICY MEN WITH WHOM TO RAPE!

    ME GET POLYGAMOUSLY GAY MARRIED TO WARTY, EPISIARCH, EPI’S MOM, WARTY’S MOM, MY MOM, MY TRANSGENDERED BROTHER/SISTER AND ART MODELL’S CORPSE. I PREDICT IT WILL BE A FABOLOUS WEDDING! ME MAKE THE RED WEDDING LOOK LIKE A GARDEN PARTY.

  19. “Would it surprise you to learn that educators were recently taught at the fifteenth annual White Privilege Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, that “racism is central to America;” “the longer you are in the Tea Party, the more racist you become;” and “this country was built on white principles for white people”?…

    “”A lot of teachers that we interviewed ? said that their schools were paying them to come,”…

    “The conference’s website adds that teachers are eligible for continuing education credits if they attend. High school, undergraduate and graduate students are also eligible for academic credit if they participate.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/storie…..onference/

  20. An Australian politician’s unique grasp of biology has created an international stir, giving birth to the bewildering term “tummy eggs” on social media.

    1. “The major changes he wants to put forward [to the abortion law] are to outlaw gender-selection abortions, to force doctors to resuscitate babies who survive the abortion process, and to repeal section 8 of the legislation, which requires doctors who object to abortions to refer their patient to doctors who don’t.”

      But since he expressed himself awkwardly, it therefore follows that babies who survive abortion should be left to die on the table.

      Because this politician is much worse than Gosnell!

      1. Well, he sure as hell isn’t doing the anti-abortion crowd any favors…

  21. Boob grab babe’s busty boo-boo

  22. Rob Ford: One wild night in March

    To a visitor, Ford says, almost offhanded, “You can f— her if you want, in front of me.”
    Nobody speaks. The comment is ignored by Ford’s wife. Men in the room are shocked.
    “It’s okay,” Ford burbles. “She lets me f–k girls in front of her all the time.”
    Eyes flicked upward, to the rest of the house.
    “It’s okay, my kids are not home,” Ford repeats.

    1. Hello Olivia Chow! Where’s barfman when you need him?

    2. “Nobody sticks up for people like I do, every f—ing k–e, n—-r, f—ing w-p, d-go, whatever the race. Nobody does. I’m the most racist guy around. I’m the mayor of Toronto.”

      I have NO idea what Ford said.

    3. Ford, who notoriously and allegedly grabbed the butt of a female political rival at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee Action Party

      this article gave me a headache.

    1. Apparently you can sheep the shit out of them though.

  23. The state constitution is subordinate to the federal constitution. The federal constitution requires that all states recognize the legal acts of other states which include (but are not limited to) contracts, wills and marriages.

    If you get married in Colorado you are married in Vermont. If one state performs same-sex marriages then all the other states are required constitutionally to recognize those marriages, even if they are illegal in all 49 other states.

    The Attorney General does have a duty to the state constitution, but he also has a duty to the federal one as well. Where the two are in conflict, the federal constitution wins.

    1. Except that is subject to Congressional statute, which the federal DOMA says that their is an exception. That part of DOMA is still law.

  24. Sometimes you jstu have to rol lwith it.

    http://www.YourAnon.tk

  25. So the voters vote to ban state recognition of this kind of marriage (democracy) and one judge overrules that democratic outcome. Obviously, what Arkansas needs to fix this is Affirmative Gay Action. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a Gaycist.

  26. Nice to see so many of you in support of banning shit.

    LIBERTY!

  27. “The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent.”

    One judge determining that differences in sex are relevant to a relationship based on sex is irrational continues as a dangerous precedent.

  28. KY still doesnt recognize the marriages of first cousins performed in other states.

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