May 12: More marriage licenses for same-sex couples issued in Pulaski Co.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A busy morning expected at some Arkansas courthouses today.

Pulaski County judge Chris Piazza declared the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on Friday, opening doors for clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses. The first ones were issued in Eureka Springs Saturday.

THV 11 reached out to Judge Piazza for a comment, but his office said he cannot legally comment on the case due to ethics laws since he is involved with the proceedings.

Monday morning, the Associated Press reports that the first same-sex marriage license processed in Pulaski County went to a couple who are Arkansas natives but now live in Texas. Shelly Butler, 51, and her partner Susan Barr, 48, have been together nearly 30 years. AP reports the two met in 1985 while attending college at SAU in Magnolia.

AP also reports that Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen is among those who is performing same-sex marriages at the courthouse. The AP quotes Griffen saying, "it's the right thing to do."

Arkansas' Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court and is asking for a stay. Other county clerks, including Faulkner County, are refusing to grant licenses until the higher court makes a decision.

READ MORE: Full language of McDaniels Motion to Stay (PDF)

Monday morning at 7:15 a.m. the Human Rights Campaign hosted a press conference on the ruling at the Pulaski County Courthouse steps.

We heard from two sides of the issue this morning on "THV 11 This Morning" with representatives from the Human Rights Campaign and from the Arkansas Family Council.

THV11's Dan Grossman was live at the Pulaski County Courthouse all morning long speaking to couples who have been lined up since the break of dawn to get their marriage licenses.


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