Arkansas Issues First Same-Sex Marriage License After Ban Struck Down

Kristin Seaton, Jennifer Rambo
Sarah Bentham—AP Kristin Seaton, center, of Jacksonville, Ark., holds up her marriage license as she leaves the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs, Ark., with her partner, Jennifer Rambo, left, of Fort Smith, Ark. May 10, 2014, in Eureka Springs, Ark.

Arkansas issued its first same-sex marriage license to Kristin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo Saturday, a day after a federal judge struck down the state's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage

Arkansas issued its first same-sex marriage license Saturday morning as couples lined up outside a local courthouse one day after a judge overturned the state’s gay marriage ban.

Kristin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo of Forth Smith were the first Arkansas couple to receive a marriage license Saturday after Pulaski County judge Chris Piazza ruled the ban unconstitutional Friday. The couple has been together for four years.

First same sex couple married in Arkansas. @cnn #lgbt

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Seaton and Rambo headed for Eureka Springs just after hearing about Piazza’s ruling, the Associated Press reports. The couple arrived at 2 a.m. and slept in their Ford Focus, waking up every 30 minutes to make sure they were at the head of the line. When they saw another couple pull up, Seaton and Rambo bolted to the courthouse.

“Thank God,” Rambo said when the license was issued.

Seaton and Rambo and other couples lined up outside state courthouses Saturday despite not knowing whether they would actually receive marriage licenses, the AP reports.

Arkansas voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman in 2004.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that a law forbidding the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, a decision cited by lower court judges who have since struck down same-sex marriage bans in Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Texas.


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