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Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:08 a.m.
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Gay couples marry, wary ruling might be frozen

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published May 14, 2014 at 9:08 a.m. Updated May 14, 2014 at 10:51 a.m.

heather-linton-left-and-laura-hightower-are-married-wednesday-by-pulaski-county-circuit-judge-morgan-welch

Heather Linton, left, and Laura Hightower are married Wednesday by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Morgan Welch.

Same-sex weddings resumed Wednesday in Pulaski County Circuit Court, where several couples tied the knot ahead of a possible stay that could halt the practice.

By 8:30 a.m., five couples had applied for marriage licenses at the clerk's office and then sought a quick ceremony with an officiant in the rotunda or with a judge in chambers.

Heather Linton, 29, and Laura Hightower, 26, were married by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Morgan Welch after arriving before the clerk's office opened at 8 a.m.

Linton said the couple made the 9 1/2-hour drive from their home in Roswell, Ga., after getting off work Tuesday and realizing there could be a stay at any time of the Friday ruling in Pulaski County that opened the door for gay marriages in the state.

"It was a very anxious drive," Linton said. "I was afraid we'd get there at 8:01 a.m. and they'd say 'no more.'"

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Tuesday had received a motion from the Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office seeking a stay and a response from the plaintiff's in the lawsuit that resulted in the Friday ruling. McDaniel's office submitted the court a response on Wednesday reiterating its desire for a stay.

It's unclear when a decision will come.

Also marrying Wednesday were Dennis Smith, 51, and Curtis Creamer, 47, both of Jonesboro.

Creamer said they preferred having a large ceremony with family present, but the looming possibility of a stay motivated them to drive to Little Rock for a brief ceremony in Welch's chambers.

"We were wanting kids and everyone with us," Creamer said. "But we knew we were cutting it close."

Smith and Creamer, who have been together nine years, returned their signed license to the clerk's office before 9 a.m. and left the building together legally married.

Smith said he's confident same-sex marriage will ultimately be legal regardless of the possible stay or the outcome of the Arkansas court case.

"Whether it happens today, next week or next year, it will eventually be able to happen," he said.

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ArkansasHawk says... May 14, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.

Let Freedom Ring......

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lilith2u says... May 14, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.

Good for you Judge Welch !

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Dontcallmenames says... May 14, 2014 at 11:23 a.m.

It is true that everyone is equal under the law. This equality, however, is juridical, not biological. It does not and cannot eliminate the anatomical, physiological and psychological differences between the sexes, which create the conditions for marriage and constitute its natural foundation.

Regarding marriage, juridical equality means that all those with the natural capacity to marry have the right to do so. This juridical equality does not create the biological conditions required by nature for marriage. Now the conjugal act is intrinsically related to marriage, and nature requires two individuals from opposite sexes for its performance. This natural requirement is totally lacking in two people of the same sex who wish to marry, so the principle of equality under the law does not apply.

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SRBROTHERINLAW says... May 14, 2014 at 11:25 a.m.

IT'S OK TO ROB A BANK BUT YOU BETTER HURRY THEY MAY PUT A STAY ON IT

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Popsmith says... May 14, 2014 at 11:39 a.m.

Sick, sick, sick!

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Popsmith says... May 14, 2014 at 11:42 a.m.

It's okay to rob a bank, but the consequences are devastating.

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chickadee says... May 14, 2014 at 11:44 a.m.

I have a gay nephew and my daughter came out several years ago. My church does not believe in this way of life and I do have trouble with it myself, but I am not the judge of what is right and wrong. That ultimately is in Gods hands and I will leave that up to him. I do however believe that daughter has never been happier and as a parent that is all ask for is her happiness. Her way of life does not change the way I feel about her or her life mate. They are two wonderful people and I love them. The choice in the way they live their life is no one's business but theirs. They are both good and productive citizens and I think they should have ALL the rights that other people have in the United States.

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outinthesticks says... May 14, 2014 at 11:49 a.m.

Thank you, Dontcall, for spelling it out. Those who recognize a piece of paper as a marriage can do so. Those who do not honor a piece of paper as a marriage do not have to recognize it as such, because we believe that a marriage occurs between opposite sexes, as part of the natural order of things. A rose by any other name should smell as sweet. But if it is not a rose, it never will smell like one, no matter how hard it tries, or how many judges rule, or how many pieces of paper are signed.

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GCW says... May 14, 2014 at 11:49 a.m.

Banker robbers made off with investor's money prior to 2007 and are still getting obscene bonuses and salaries. They're not concerned about any stays.

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chickadee says... May 14, 2014 at 11:52 a.m.

What has happened to separation of state and church? It seems to me that a lot of people have issue with this because of church and what they believe.

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