Hutchinson, Rutledge say state will follow ruling

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, left, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is ordering state agencies to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

The Republican governor said he believes the decision goes against Arkansans' wishes and his own beliefs, but said he recognizes the responsibility of the state to follow the high court's direction.

Hutchinson said: "As a result of this ruling, I will direct all state agencies to comply with the decision."

Hutchinson said it was important to note that the high court's decision was directed at the states to allow and recognize same-sex marriages. He said it wasn't a directive for churches or pastors to recognize same-sex marriage.

Hutchinson took office in January and has opposed same-sex marriage.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said county clerks must follow the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage.

Rutledge largely decried the ruling in a prepared statement released Friday. She said the ruling by the high court doesn't reflect the will of Arkansas voters, who overwhelmingly supported a state constitutional amendment in 2004 against gay unions.

Rutledge said: "I am disappointed that the justices have chosen to ignore the role of the States to define marriage."

Rutledge said her office will continue to review the landmark decision and says it is critically important to protect religious freedom moving forward. Some religious leaders and denominations oppose same-sex marriages.