Gay Marriage Ban Repeal Shot Down In Arkansas

A gay marriage ban repeal proposal in Arkansas has been found lacking by the state’s Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

The ballot title was filed by Arkansans for Equality shortly after the US Supreme Court rejected the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June. According to KARK, McDaniel’s reasoning was that the attempt at a gay marriage ban repeal had “misleading tendencies (in part based on failure to include any mention of the proposal’s effect on current Arkansas law) and failure to meet the Arkansas Supreme Court’s requirement of impartiality.”

McDaniel’s opinion stated that Arkansans for Equality could rewrite and submit the ballot title again before launching his reasons for dismissal.

“Specifically, rather than simply describing Amendment 83 to the Arkansas Constitution (the amendment proposed to be repealed), your proposed ballot title asserts an abridgment of undefined ‘rights’ and seems to presume Amendment 83’s illegality in terms of federal law and the laws of other states,” the opinion said.

“It is conclusory and partisan to assert that Amendment 83 ‘limits’ Arkansans’ ‘rights’ and ‘prevents federal laws … being applied in a consistent manner,'” the opinion said. “To use such terms and phrases is to promote by implication, not to summarize, a proposal. As a consequence, the proposed ballot title has misleading tendencies and fails to meet the Arkansas Supreme Court’s requirement of impartiality.”

Judd Mann, co-chairman of Arkansans for Equality, told The Times Record that his group hopes to land the proposal on the 2014 general election ballot, but McDaniel’s opinion is certainly a setback.

Still, another group, the Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality, has submitted its own plan for a gay marriage ban repeal of Amendment 83, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. The constitutional amendment, passed by the state in 2004, also bans gay marriage and civil unions.

This second proposal, if approved, would be on the 2016 ballot.

While there is a definite majority in favor of the gay marriage ban in Arkansas, tides are changing throughout the US. One example is the recent endorsement from conservative Democrat Bob Casey, who serves Pennsylvania, a state that had at one time, affected its own gay marriage ban.

How long do you think it will take for each gay marriage ban throughout the US to be repealed? (Or will they be repealed?)

[Image via Karin Hildebrand Lau /]