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story.lead_photo.caption Attorney Cheryl Maples leaves a courtroom in the Pulaski County Court House in Little Rock in this April 2014 file photo. (AP / Danny Johnston )

An attorney who led the fight for marriage equality in Arkansas died Thursday in Little Rock.

Cheryl Maples, 69, had battled congestive heart failure for years.

In 2014, the Heber Springs mother of five successfully challenged the state's ban on same-sex marriage, convincing a Pulaski Circuit Court judge to strike down the measure. As a result, hundreds of gay couples were able to obtain marriage licenses in Arkansas.

Maples was on hand on May 10, 2014, when the first same-sex licenses were issued in Carroll County, acting as a witness for clients as they exchanged vows.

Arkansas was the first state in the South to recognize the right of gay people to marry, but the battle was far from over.

The state supreme court would go on to block the issuance of further licenses on May 16, 2014.

More than thirteen months later, with the case still pending before the Arkansas Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court made the issue moot, striking down all of the nation's same-sex marriage bans.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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Archived Comments

  • Skeptic1
    August 23, 2019 at 8:06 p.m.

    Cheryl was a wonderful person, mother, and a fierce advocate for her clients. She can leave this world knowing she was true to her calling, too many in the profession look at their wealth as a measure of success, Cheryl viewed the law as a sacred duty guided by a solid moral compass...God speed counselor.

  • Skeptic1
    August 23, 2019 at 8:12 p.m.

    UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA...Karma is B*tch, remember that next time you feel the urge to spew your bile.

    August 23, 2019 at 11:33 p.m.

    septic, UofA is one of you.

    Own it.