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LITTLE ROCK — Opponents and supporters of Arkansas' ban on gay marriage are sparring in court filings over whether the state's constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage serves a legitimate purpose and can be challenged at the state level.

Attorneys for the state and a group of same-sex couples filed competing arguments in Pulaski County court Wednesday seeking summary judgment over the challenge to a constitutional amendment voters approved in 2004 defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

A hearing is scheduled April 17 over the motions.

Attorneys for the state and the Faulkner County clerk argued in part that opponents can't challenge the ban in state court since it's enshrined in the Arkansas constitution. Opponents argue the ban violates the equal protection guaranteed under the constitution.

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  • djigoo
    March 20, 2014 at 11:31 a.m.

    Marriage equality is coming.

  • djigoo
    March 20, 2014 at 12:47 p.m.

    Homophobia is sick.

  • Kharma
    March 20, 2014 at 12:49 p.m.

    If gay marriage is equality then so is plural marriage. It is the same degree of separation from the traditional marriage. Gay marriage is two persons as is traditional marriage and plural marriage is male/female as is traditional. Anyone who supports so called gay marriages but does not support plural marriages is a mere simpleton.

  • 23cal
    March 20, 2014 at 12:50 p.m.

    Bronze age morality which had no conception of the complexity of normal human sexuality does not define "perversion". Hate and homophobia are perversions. Exactly what secular state purpose is served by the prevention of the "glorification of homosexuality'? "Pops doesn't like it 'cause it's icky" isn't a compelling state purpose.

  • TheBatt
    March 20, 2014 at 12:52 p.m.

    We already HAVE "marriage equality" - the rules are the same for every human being. What the Homosexual crowd are pushing is an EXTRA set of rights based on their CHOICE of sexuality.

    What part of "constitutional amendment" do these courts not understand?

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    March 20, 2014 at 1:11 p.m.

    Well said TheBatt, well said.

  • 23cal
    March 20, 2014 at 1:22 p.m.

    I am so going to metaphorically bathe in the tears of the gay-haters when this case is decided just like the last 19 in a row nationwide have been. Have a nice trip to the dustbin of history, y'all.

  • Vickie55
    March 20, 2014 at 1:58 p.m.

    Kharma, there are thousands of cases of plural marriage. You get married, you get divorced, you marry again. Plural marriage. I can't concern myself with same-sex marriage when the divorce rate has made traditional marriage a joke.

  • RestoftheStory
    March 20, 2014 at 2:57 p.m.

    Homosexuality is a horrible crime, and it makes no sense. God has clearly identified this as an abomination. You cannot change the topic and claim that love over-rides the sin. God is love, but He will not tolerate sin that is clearly identified in the Bible. There will be a payday someday. The economy was going well when God's judgment fell on Sodom and Gomorrah. Don't make the same mistake; you can get help to straighten up your life.

  • 23cal
    March 20, 2014 at 3:33 p.m.

    SurferDuuuude...about "Civil rights for pedophiles, right surfergoo and 23cal?"
    Surely you know that civil rights are for everyone, whether we like them or not. Don't you? If not, go back through 8th grade civics.
    Of course, you purposely dodge the crux of the matter which has already been outlined: "Unless there is a secular compelling reason for the state to deny equal treatment". I think you are bright enough to figure out that there is a "secular compelling reason for the state" to deny marriage to pedophiles...a reason that doesn't exist in the case of gay marriage.
    In case you aren't bright enough to figure it out, let me spell it out for you: in the case of pedophile marriage, minors have not reached the age of consent and children are harmed, so there is a compelling state interest in not allowing it. However, this situation does not exist in the case of same sex marriage. I'm amazed someone had to point this out to you.
    Wait, wait! I get it: since you have no good reason for the state to deny same sex marriage, you want to slander it by lumping it in with pedophiles. Good idea, I'm sure it will work with the ignorant and hate-filled.