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Anti-gay marriage resolution passes

By Staff and wire reports

This article was originally published June 20, 2014 at 7:22 a.m. Updated June 20, 2014 at 11:25 a.m.


State Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, presents a resolution against gay marriage during a meeting of the Arkansas Legislative Council Wednesday.

Rapert: Resolution reflects 'will of people'

Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, speaks about the passage of a non-binding resolution in support of an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman and asking the high court to invalidate gay marriages issued last month in Arkansas. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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The Arkansas Legislative Council has approved a resolution opposing gay marriage a month after a vote on it was blocked.

The nonbinding resolution, sponsored by state Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, expresses support for Amendment 83, the 2004 state amendment that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. It also asks the state Supreme Court to invalidate several hundred gay marriages issued after Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled the state's bans unconstitutional last month and calls his decision "an abuse of his judicial authority."

Rapert's resolution, which was also signed by 58 other legislators, passed Friday by a voice vote after about a half hour of discussion.

"What was accomplished was standing up for the will of the people of this state," Rapert told reporters shortly after the resolution passed. "750,000 people voted for Amendment 83 in 2004. It was clearly their will. Surveys in Arkansas show that that opinion has changed very little at all since that particular time."

Before the vote, Sen. David Johnson, D-Little Rock, said the resolution is "incorrect and false" and Rep. John Walker, D-Little Rock, called it a civil and human rights issue as he spoke against it.

"When people are born, they become entitled to equal rights," Walker said. "... And they have the right to make their choices. And the courts are obliged to respect that."

The council decided earlier in the meeting to include in the minutes for its previous meeting a letter from Rapert protesting rulings that blocked a vote on the resolution in May. The body voted to add the letter to the minutes and to work with staff in a subcommittee to clarify "certain discrepancies" in the rules.

Rapert's letter complained procedural rulings made by chairman Rep. John Edwards, D-Little Rock, in May incorrectly blocked the resolution from being considered.

"I would also appreciate the chairman addressing the mistakes that were made and apologizing for the confusion this has caused for all members and the mishandling of the resolution," Rapert wrote in the June 9 letter. "Had the proceedings of the meeting been conducted appropriately, the resolution to support Amendment 83 would have clearly been passed by the majority of members present and voting — the voice vote in favor of suspension of the rules to consider the resolution was a clear majority and 56 members of the legislature indicated their support as co-sponsors of the resolution."

Gavin Lesnick


A state senator will try again to win passage of a resolution asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

In May, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled the state gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Over the next week, more than 500 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses before the state Supreme Court issued a stay and said it would look at an appeal by the state. On Friday, Republican Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway intends to ask the Legislative Council to approve a resolution to keep the ban as state law.

Rapert failed in his first attempt on May 16 to get the non-binding measure to a vote before the panel.

The Associated Press


Comments on: Anti-gay marriage resolution passes

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djigoo says... June 20, 2014 at 7:51 a.m.

Give it up, Raper.

Your day is over.

Liberty won; you lost.

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Duhig says... June 20, 2014 at 9:32 a.m.

Hc can't give it up. He owes the churches who elected him and they want more "testimony"

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ThinkFree says... June 20, 2014 at 9:48 a.m.

"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the world, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I favor Civil Union

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ThinkFree says... June 20, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.

"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those, who in times of moral crisis, do nothing." - Dante Alighieri

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RaylanGivens says... June 20, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.


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23cal says... June 20, 2014 at 10:42 a.m.

What a shame that so many of your representatives choose to spend their time tilting at the windmill of separation of powers instead of trying to accomplish something beneficial to the people of Arkansas. How hypocritical that they squeal like stuck pigs about nonexistent judicial activism while they try to usurp the authority granted to the judicial branch.

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KCSAP says... June 20, 2014 at 10:46 a.m.

The majority of people do not believe in or support abnormal behavior. Just because we are in a time where politicians and judges pander to special interest groups; it will never change the fact that this is abnormal behavior. Gays can call it what they want, but it will always be abnormal. The first time a gay couple procreates without medical intervention, then they may have an argument.

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ToTheLeft says... June 20, 2014 at 11:21 a.m.

KCsap, if you think same-sex relationships are abnormal, don't have one! ReverendSenator Rapert, if you don't believe in same-sex marriage, don't marry a man.

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Packman says... June 20, 2014 at 11:28 a.m.

Thank God for people like Jason Rapert. The cornerstone of our representative democracy is majority rule. The "tyranny" of the majority is our political way of life in America. The tyranny of a judge to impose their personal opinion born of political correctness on the masses is an abomination. There is no blanket constitutional "equal protection" for a lifestyle choice, otherwise someone like Jerry Sandusky would be "protected" because his lifestyle choice involves young boys. Even libs agree the state can limit what it chooses to sanction as "marriage". If it is unconstitutional to limit marriage to one man and one woman, how is it not also unconstitutional to limit marriage to one man/woman and one woman/man? Now comes the parade of crickets in response to this question.

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aimee says... June 20, 2014 at 11:34 a.m.

Republicans spend too much time trying to promote what they deem as moral to save our souls.. Why don't they try promoting the well-being of the body that the soul lives in..??? No, they are anti-healtcare, anti-foodstamps, anti-taxfairness, and the list goes on........

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