County will not allow same-sex marriages


The Jefferson County Clerk’s Office has been instructed by the county attorney not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite a ruling last week in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

County Attorney Jackie Harris said in a letter to County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson that although Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled that Amendment 83, which bans same-sex marriages in Arkansas, is unconstitutional, the Pulaski County court does not have jurisdiction over the Jefferson County clerk and the law as outlined in Amendment 83 will be followed in Jefferson County.

The Pulaski County Judge who issued the order did not stay its implementation, nor provide any guidance as to how County Clerks in 75 Arkansas Counties should implement the court order.

Harris said if a court that has jurisdiction over the Jefferson County clerk makes a ruling consistent with the ruling in Pulaski County, the county clerk will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.