US: First same-sex couple marries in Arkansas after marriage ban struck down

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A same-sex couple has married in Arkansas, after the state’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down.

Yesterday, Judge Chris Piazza ruled that the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage  violated the rights of same-sex couples by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

According to Associated Press, lesbian couple Kristen Seaton and Jennifer Rambo married late this morning, at Western District Courthouse in Carroll County.

They are 27 and 26, have been together for four years.

Weddings were not expected to start until Monday morning, but couples flocked to the Eureka Springs courthouse, one of the few to open on a Saturday.

Deputy County Clerk Lana Gordon requested permission from the Attorney General to issue licenses today, but initially made the decision not to after she did not hear back.

However, the courthouse eventually re-opened, and Seaton and Rambo were first in line to marry.

Carroll County Deputy Clerk Jane Osborn issued a license Saturday morning to Kristin Seaton, 27, and Jennifer Rambo, 26, of Fort Smith. They had slept in a Ford Focus after arriving in Eureka Springs at 2 a.m. Saturday and were the first of about 10 couples to line up outside of the courthouse before it opened.

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

The couple, who were married by Minister Laura Phillips, proceeded to hold a marriage ceremony on the courthouse steps.

The couple had rushed to Eureka Springs at 2am Saturday after hearing the ban had been struck down, and slept in a Ford Focus to ensure they were first in line.

The Attorney General Dustin McDaniel yesterday filed for a stay, which would put the ban back in place and prevent recognition of same-sex marriage until the appeals process is concluded.

It could take several months for an appeal to conclude, as it would likely go all the way to the Supreme Court.