Arkansas clerk resigns over refusal to grant same-sex marriage licenses

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A county clerk in Arkansas has resigned rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

After the Supreme Court decision which brought same-sex marriage to all 50 states Cleburne County Clerk Dana Guffey has said she will step down due to her “moral objection” to issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples.

Senator Jason Rapert said: “I encourage all political leaders of Arkansas and leaders in the faith community to rally around County Clerks who choose to refuse to comply with an unjust ruling that violates religious freedom and states rights.

“I encourage all likeminded political leaders around the entire nation to do the same. We cannot sit idly by while 5 robed lawyers try to seize power from the states and the people.”

He initially broke the news with a tweet reading: “And it begins – I have just been informed that one Arkansas county clerk will resign before issuing licenses to same-sex couples.”

Ms Guffey intends to step down today, from the post she has held for 24 years. According to THV11 she insists the decision was not made “out of hate”.

Governor Asa Hutchinson reminded clerks yesterday that they had a “duty to follow the law”.

Politicians from some states, such as Texas, have implied that clerks will not be required to issue licenses should they have objections to them.

Some states, such as Mississippi, have implied they will refuse any marriage licenses at all – including for straight couples.