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Arkansas attorney general rejects marriage equality ballot proposal

Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

By Jacob CombsArkansas state seal

Last Friday, Arkansas attorney general Dustin McDaniel rejected a proposal that would have begun the process of repealing the state’s 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, the Southwest Times Record reported:

The attorney general said the proposal by Arkansans for Equality contained misleading tendencies and a failure to include any mention of the proposal’s effect on the state’s current law, Amendment 83, which was approved with 75 percent of the vote.

The proposal also failed to meet the state Supreme Court’s requirement for impartiality.

“Specifically, rather than simply describing Amendment 83 to the Arkansas Constitution (the amendment proposed to be repealed), your proposed ballot title asserts an abridgment of undefined ‘rights’ and seems to presume Amendment 83’s illegality in terms of federal law and the laws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

Another ballot measure, submitted last week by Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality, would bring marriage equality to the state through a 2016 ballot vote.  (The Arkansans for Equality bill would only have repealed Amendment 83, and was scheduled for 2014.)  It is unclear if Arkansans for Equality will seek to amend the wording of their measure and re-submit it.

As we reported early this month, a marriage equality lawsuit is currently pending in Arkansas state court.  In their initial complaint in that case, 11 same-sex couples wrote, “Gays and lesbians are a distinct group, singled out due to their sexual orientation to be denied rights enjoyed by all other adult groups.”

 

1 Comment

  • 1. LGBT News! | Arkansas att&hellip  |  July 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    […] From: news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNF7ROG_yrIE_4G3Vwc1yHVrpiV-6Q&url=http://equ… […]

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