A rhetorical shift –Arkansas judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban


BuzzFeed reports that Judge Christopher Piazza has struck down the same-sex marriage ban in Arkansas. According to the language from the decision, Judge Piazza did not accept the defense that the state offered for the ban. 

"The defendants offer several rationalizations for the disparate treatment of same-sex couples such as the basic premise of the referendum process, procreation, that denying marriage protections to same-sex couples and their families is justified in the name of protecting children, and continuity of the laws and tradition.  None of these reasons provide a rational basis for adopting the amendment."

The judge also noted that since the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in Windsor, it is clear that there has been a shift in how judges rule on marriage equality, because as he quotes Judge Kern in Bishop v United States there is no "rational link between exclusion of this class [same-sex couples] from civil marriage and promotion of a legitimate governmental objective."

The state may ask for a stay, but until they do, Freedom to Marry projects that Arkansas marriage license clerks may be presented with petitions from couples eager to formalize their unions as early as Monday morning. 

You can read more text from the decision here.

Recently LGBT advocates from 12 Southern states came together to advocate as a region for marriage equality, Arkansas is one of them.