Arkansas representative withdraws bill banning same-sex marriage

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- State representative Stephen Meeks has withdrawn his bill designed to restrict marriage to solely heterosexual couples.

The Republican from Greenbrier proposed House Billl 2098 last week, but has pulled it from further consideration.

HB2098's targeting of same-sex couples would have been extensive. The bill would not only have denied a same-sex couple an Arkansan marriage license, it would also not allow the state to recognize a same-sex license from another state.

Meeks also crafted the bill to strip the benefits of marriages, such as joint tax returns, health insurance, and social security, from same-sex couples. However, the bill would not prohibit an employer from “extending benefits to a person who is a domestic partner of an employee.”

It is unclear how Meeks, and the other 20 state sponsors, would force Arkansas to implement the bill considering it would likely be deemed unconstitutional. With the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states must recognize same-sex marriages.

The bill joins at least 15 other bills designed to limit the freedoms of Arkansas’ LGBT community.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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