AG certifies ballot proposal to void Arkansas gay marriage ban

LITTLE ROCK — Supporters of a proposed ballot measure to repeal Arkansas’ 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state got the go-ahead Thursday to begin collecting signatures in an effort to get the measure 2014 ballot.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel certified the name and ballot title of the proposal by Arkansans for Equality. In his opinion, McDaniel emphasized the proposal would not legalize same-sex marriage in Arkansas but would “revive the General Assembly’s authority to pass such laws relating to same-sex marriage as it deems appropriate.”

Judd Mann, co-chairman of Arkansans for Equality, said Thursday the organization’s board would meet soon to begin planning for a petition drive.

“Time is of the essence,” he said, adding that the current plan is for the signatures to be gathered by volunteers rather than paid canvassers.

“We want the community to be involved,” Mann said.

Supporters of the proposed constitutional amendment must submit 78,133 valid signatures from registered voters to the secretary of state’s office by July 7, 2014, to qualify the proposal for the 2014 general election ballot.