6 Arkansas Same-Sex Couples Who Just Got Married, Finally (Prepare To Get Choked Up)
It's been a great day for Arkansas: Hundreds of same-sex couples gathered on the courthouse steps in Little Rock Monday to legally marry in their state. The historic moment — Arkansas is currently the only Southern state to recognize gay marriage — comes after Judge Chris Piazza of the Pulaski County Circuit Court issued a ruling Friday that struck down the state's 2004 constitutional amendment and a 1997 ban barring marriage equality for same-sex couples.
According to The New York Times, dozens of couples began lining up in front of the Pulaski County courthouse at dawn, and the county issued its first same-sex marriage license shortly after 8 a.m. Shelly Butler, 51, and Susan Barr, 48, were the first couple to receive a marriage license from Pulaski County, which is the state's most populous county. The couple, who currently live in Dallas, has been together since 1985, when they met at Southern Arkansas University.
"When we heard the news in Arkansas, we had to jump in the car to get here," Butler told USA Today. "I'm just excited to marry my best friend of almost 30 years, finally."
Meet some of the newlyweds in Little Rock...
1. Shelly Butler and Susan Barr
2. Thomas Baldwin and Devin Rudeseal
3. Mark Cobb and Joey Wilson
4. Amanda Linn and Barbara Hall
5. Kristen and Valerie
6. Curtis and Shane
More celebratory moments from Little Rock
While it's been an emotional day in the Arkansas capital, the celebration didn't continue throughout the state. Although Judge Piazza ruled the ban and amendment unconstitutional, the state court lawsuit only listed six counties as defendants, which means the status of gay marriage in other parts of the state still hangs in the balance.
Piazza has yet to issue a stay of the ruling, and several Arkansas counties have refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples. And as couples were receiving their licenses Monday morning, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who personally supports gay marriage, asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to suspend the judge's ruling.
Images: Facebook/Human Rights Campaign