Unlike most, if not all, courthouses across the state, the Carroll County Western District Courthouse in Eureka Springs is typically open to issue marriage licenses on Saturdays. In the wake of Circuit Judge Chris Piazza invalidating the state’s constitutional ban of same-sex marriage, same-sex couples lined up this morning in the courthouse only to be told by the deputy county clerk that she wouldn’t issue licenses to straight or same-sex couples today because her boss, the county clerk, was out of town.
We’ll have more soon from KUAF’s Jacqueline Froelich and photographer Kat Wilson, who’re in Eureka Springs for the Times.
UPDATE: Jacqueline Froelich reports that Deputy County Clerk Lana Gordon requested an attorney general’s opinion this morning on whether she could issue licenses to same-sex couples. When she didn’t hear back, she made the unilateral decision to not issue them and closed the office. Around 50 couples and some supporters, including attorney Cheryl Maples, were gathered. The police came to the courthouse and asked everyone to disperse. Now, according to Froelich, the courthouse seems to be opening back up again.
The Association of Arkansas Counties has scheduled a conference call for county clerks and county attorneys at 2 p.m. today to discuss ramifications of the Piazza ruling.
The e-mail notice of the conference call went to all parties with a copy of Judge Piazza’s summary judgment and finding that the law prohibiting issuance of licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional.