Couple married shortly before same-sex marriages end in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Arkansas Supreme Court put a halt to any same-sex marriage licenses by issuing a stay in the case. The order came down at 4:30 p.m. on Friday May 16th.

One same sex couple that got married Friday morning told THV11 they are glad they got married when they did.

"It is the love of the relationship," said Tee Easley.

Leslie Smith and Tee Easley met four years ago.

"We have been inseparable ever since," said Leslie Smith.

They made the decision to commit.

"She is my partner and my best friend, and I would not want to spend life with anyone else," said Smith.

Easley added, "Yup, absolutely."

They did not think they were going to be able to make it official because Pulaski County stopped issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

"It has been a roller coaster," said Smith.

This ride Smith and Easley are on took another turn and on Friday, they were able to get married.

"We were like let's go ahead and do it before it changes again," said Easley.

The applause continues to go back and forth.

"We are going to bring this matter back up," said Republican State Senator Jason Rapert.

Friday morning, Rapert brought a resolution before lawmakers urging the state Supreme Court to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage. That resolution was shot down.

"According to US Supreme Court position right now, states still have the right to define marriage however they see fit," said Rapert. "Arkansans defined it as between one man and one woman."

"This case, the judge made the decision, and I think we need to make certain again that the people's voice is heard," said District 94 Republican State Representative Debra Hobbs.

As the back and forth continues, same-sex couples like Tee and Leslie wait.

"Is it a $60 piece of paper that is in a frame now that means nothing," asked Easley. "Or is it something that is going to be a forever thing and is going to mean something?"

But among all the uncertainties, for this couple, one thing is clear.

"We are in this for the long hall," said Smith.

After a solid week of issuing them and then not issuing them, Arkansas is no longer issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The issue is now in the hands of the Supreme Court and the process could take six months.


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