Good news from Arkansas.
Yesterday, Judge Wendell Griffen ordered the state officials to acknowledge more than 500 gay marriages performed in the state last year. This recognition allows same-sex couples to reap the benefits (literally) of filing taxes and receiving health insurance plans.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen validated marriage licenses that were issued to same-sex couples after another judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban. The state Supreme Court halted the distribution of marriage licenses to gay couples after a week in May 2014 and is considering the appeal over a voter-approved same-sex marriage ban. Some of the same-sex couples who married in Arkansas last year filed a lawsuit in February alleging that the state was violating their rights by not recognizing the unions. Griffen's ruling means the couples can file taxes jointly, appear jointly on a child's birth certificate, enroll together on state health insurance plans and even file for divorce. Griffen was among a number of people who presided over same-sex marriage ceremonies in May 2014.Onward