Friday, September 20, 2013

Late Thursday afternoon, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel certified sponsors of an amendment repealing Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage to begin gathering petition signatures to place the measure on the November 2014 ballot.

On Friday Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “This is about legalizing same-sex marriage in Arkansas. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of repealing the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage?”

Cox said he believes those campaigning to repeal Amendment 83 are fighting an uphill battle. “Approximately one out of ten voters in Arkansas signed the petition to put Amendment 83 on the ballot in 2004. Seventy-five percent of voters voted to define marriage as one man to one woman. Recent polling shows the majority of Arkansans still support the ban on same-sex marriage. I don’t think this measure will be successful, but Arkansans need to know that the fight to redefine marriage isn’t limited to places like Massachusetts or California. It’s happening right here at home.”

In 1997, the Arkansas Legislature passed a state law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.  In 2004, when voters passed Amendment 83, a ban on same-sex marriage was written into the Arkansas Constitution.

“If Amendment 83 is repealed, the door will be wide open for someone to file a lawsuit asking the courts to legalize same-sex marriage in Arkansas,” Cox said. “If Amendment 83 is repealed, Arkansas will have same-sex marriage.”

Family Council is a conservative, nonprofit education and research organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.