Judge: Arkansas must recognize in-state same-sex marriages

AP News
Posted: Jun 09, 2015 5:13 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A judge has ordered Arkansas officials to recognize over 500 same-sex marriages performed in the state last year, a move that will let the couples enjoy benefits such as filing taxes jointly.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Tuesday validated marriage licenses 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.

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 or even file for divorce. The state could appeal.

Griffen was among those who presided over same-sex weddings last year.