Main | Sunday, May 04, 2014

ARKANSAS: AG Dustin McDaniel Endorses Same-Sex Marriage, Will Defend Ban

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel yesterday announced that he personally supports same-sex marriage but will continue to defend the state's 2004 constitutional ban. Via the Associated Press:
McDaniel, a Democrat serving his final year as the state’s top attorney, became the first statewide official in Arkansas to back same-sex marriage. “I want to tell you I do support marriage equality and I do believe Arkansans should have the right to be equal in the eyes of the law,” said McDaniel, speaking at the Associated Press Managing Editors convention. “I’m going to zealously defend our constitution, but at the same time I think it’s important to let people where I stand on the matter,” McDaniel told the AP after his speech. McDaniel said during a question and answer session with editors that there wasn’t any single incident that changed his mind about gay marriage. “It’s become more and more difficult for me to accept the idea of anyone being treated as a second class citizen,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel went on to criticize US Attorney General Eric Holder for telling state attorneys general that they did not have to defend their bans. An Arkansas state judge is expected to issue his ruling by Friday.

The Human Rights Campaign reacts:
"Today Attorney General McDaniel adds his voice to an ever-growing chorus of Americans from across the country that are standing up for the right of all couples to marry_and there is no turning back that tide,” HRC President Chad Griffin, an Arkansas native, said in a statement released by the group. “As a proud Arkansan, I know it’s only a matter of time before committed and loving gay and lesbian couples in my home state get to enjoy all the rights and benefits that come with civil marriage.”

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