Arkansas Attorney Gen. Mark Stoddard is expected to seek a judge’s permission to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.
He is the first attorney general in the nation to do so.
Stoddards request is likely to be heard by the state Supreme Court.
“Our state is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis of equality and respect,” Stoddars press secretary, Lisa P. Nelson, said in a statement to Breitbart News.
“While we recognize that our legal system has a role to play in resolving such issues, this is not a constitutional right.
In fact, the Constitution explicitly prohibits us from passing laws that grant an individual or group the right to impose their personal religious beliefs on others.”
The Arkansas Supreme Court has the authority to make such a decision based on state law.
Stodards order would allow a judge to issue the license to the couple based on the religious beliefs of the person.
The couple would also need to provide proof of their marital status, which they would need to do by presenting a valid marriage license.
“We do not believe that this order would be in any way contrary to state law, nor would it be necessary for the court to issue it,” Nelson said.
“However, we are in the process of examining our options to resolve this issue.”
Stoddards order is likely in the form of a legal brief.
Stonewall, a legal advocacy group, told Breitbart News that a decision by the Arkansas Supreme to grant a marriage licenses to same-gender couples would constitute a “grave threat to the constitutional rights of Arkansas citizens.”
“The attorney general has the legal power to issue licenses for same- sex couples, but this order will not make any difference in the way the governor will enforce federal marriage laws and the attorney general will have no authority to issue such licenses,” said Stonewallds attorney, Jason Riggs.
“Our law, the Arkansas Constitution, clearly prohibits the issuance of marriage licenses that favor any religious viewpoint over others.
The governor is not violating the law, he is simply exercising his constitutional right to do what he wants with his own power and that is to enforce the law.””
As far as we know, there has never been a case in Arkansas law or in any court decision, court case, or even in the public interest that has been brought against the governor for refusing to recognize a marriage between two persons of the same sex.
The governor is not violating the law, he is simply exercising his constitutional right to do what he wants with his own power and that is to enforce the law.”
In a statement, the ACLU of Arkansas condemned the order, saying it violates the right of all Arkansans to equal protection under the law.
“This is a dangerous move that will allow the governor and his allies in the Arkansas legislature to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples, which violates the very core of our democracy,” said Jennifer Nelson, an ACLU of Arkansas attorney.
“The ACLU and our partners are standing in solidarity with those in Arkansas who are fighting for equality.
We will continue to fight for our right to marry the person we love, and to celebrate our families, friends, and neighbors in our home state of Arkansas.”
The ACLU also called on Governor Asa Hutchinson to issue an executive order to ensure that any marriage license issued by the attorney is issued in a manner that does not violate the Arkansas constitution.
The ACLU also filed an amicus brief in the case, which argued that the marriage license could be issued by anyone, including a clerk, and could be challenged in court.
“Today’s decision is another example of the governor refusing to uphold the fundamental right to equal justice under the laws, and it is shameful that he would use his authority to discriminate,” said Omar Gonzalez, Executive Director of the ACLU.
“But the governor should not have the power to force anyone to violate his own beliefs, especially when it comes to marriage.
We urge him to issue this order now to ensure all Arkanans are treated equally and that no discrimination is condoned in the state of Ark.”
Arkansas Attorney General Mark Stodard is standing up for the fundamental rights of every Arkanan and the right for every Arkansan to be able to marry in a way that is consistent with their beliefs.
It is time for him to act now to protect the fundamental fairness of our state.
“The marriage license would not be valid for the couple’s own religious beliefs, which the Arkansas Human Rights Commission has interpreted to include those of “traditional marriage.
“A ruling in favor of the couple would require a court to overturn the state’s decision, which is expected in the next few weeks.