LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – A bill has been proposed to make marriage only between a man and a woman.
Twenty Representatives and one Senator introduced House Bill 2098. Representative Stephen Meeks (R-Greenbrier) is the lead sponsor of the bill.
HB2098 would not recognize marriages between two people of the same sex, even if the marriage happened in a different state or country.
The bill states “Marriage shall be only between a man and a woman. A marriage between persons of the same sex is void.”
No marriage licenses would be able to be issued to couples of the same sex. Same-sex couples would also not be entitled to the benefits of marriage.
However, the bill would not prohibit an employer from “extending benefits to a person who is a domestic partner of an employee.”
The bill goes on to state that in marriages between a man and a woman, the woman has to be at least 16-years-old and the man has to be 17-years-old. In marriages that happen before the age of 18, written consent of a parent or guardian has to be given before the marriage can happen.
The bill joins at least fifteen other bills designed to limit the freedoms of Arkansas’ LGBT community.