Gay Couples Marry in Little Rock; Attorney General Seeks Stay

by Christina Huynh, The Associated Press  on Monday, May. 12, 2014 10:29 am  

Susan Barr and Shelley Butler on Monday became the first legally married same-sex couple in Pulaski County. (Photo by Dan Grossman/THV 11 News)

Pulaski County drew one protester dressed all in white.

"Marriage is between a male and female. ... These are the words of the almighty God. Woe unto you, said the Lord," Larry O. Walker shouted outside the courthouse 75 minutes before the first license was issued.

Thomas Baldwin, 37, and Devin Rudeseal, 24, of Bryant, were the second pair to receive a same-sex marriage license in Little Rock. They married quickly because Rudeseal planned to take a final exam at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock later Monday morning.

"Let's cross my fingers that I pass it," said Rudeseal, who had waited in line since 2:30 a.m.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, whom Piazza met on his way into the courthouse, said he married three couples in the first hour after the clerk's office opened.

"It's the right thing to do. I am a minister. I am a judge. I am ordained to celebrate commitments in marriages and I have believed for a long time that my faith compels," Griffen said. "This is the love of God joining with the love of people."

The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that a law forbidding the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Using language similar to that from the Supreme Court, state and federal judges nationwide have struck down other same-sex marriage bans and ordered states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

Photo by THV 11 News' Dan Grossman via Twitter.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.)

 

 

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