Wright v. Smith
A hearing before the Arkansas Supreme Court took place on November 20, 2014 in this state marriage case, which received a ruling in favor of the freedom to marry on May 9, 2014. On that day, Judge Chris Piazza of Arkansas upheld same-sex couples' freedom to marry by striking down the state’s discriminatory constitutional amendment in this case filed in state court on behalf of more than 20 same-sex couples - some married, some unmarried - and one woman seeking recognition for her marriage for the purpose of divorce.
The judge did not issue a stay in the ruling - and for the next week, same-sex couples could marry in the state until the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay in the decision.
On July 2, 2013, private lawyers filed a lawsuit in state court on behalf of Kendall and Julia Wright, as well as ten other Arkansas couples. The case argues that laws restricting the freedom to marry to different-sex couples in Arkansas are unconstitutional.
Lead plaintiffs Kendall and Julia Wright married this year in Iowa. Several of the other couples are already legally married, while the rest have been denied requests for marriage licenses in Arkansas and wish to marry in their home state.
A hearing in the case took place on December 12, 2013, where the court refused to dismiss the challenge, and then on April 17, a hearing took place in this case filed in state court on behalf of 11 same-sex couples - some married, some unmarried - and one woman seeking recognition for her marriage for the purpose of divorce.
The judge ruled on May 9, 2014, striking down the marriage ban and allowing same-sex couples to marry for about a week. On Friday, May 16, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay as the state's appeal proceeds.
Jernigan v. Crane
A hearing in this federal legal case seeking the freedom to marry will be heard on November 20, 2014 in Little Rock.
On July 15, 2013, private lawyers in Little Rock, AR filed a federal lawsuit in the 8th Circuit on behalf of three same-sex couples in Arkansas seeking the freedom to marry in their state.
The plaintiffs are Becca and Tara Austin and Rita and Pam Jernigan, who argue in the case that they want to marry in their home state of Arkansas. Randy and Garry Eddy-McCain married in New York, but they are treated as unmarried by Arkansas.