Obergefell 4 Years Later: Arkansas Celebrates Pride & Pushes Forward

On this day four years ago…

The US Supreme Court stuck down bans of same sex marriage in all 50 states, including Arkansas.

In the court’s Majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.”

Did you know that Arkansas’s same sex marriage ban was struck down for seven days in 2014? On May 9th, 2014, Judge Chris Piazza of Little Rock struck down Arkansas’s anti-gay marriage amendment. In his opinion, Judge Piazza wrote,“It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it.”

During Pride month, Democratic leaders, legislators and supporters of all stripes have gathered together to celebrate these milestones and work towards a bright future for all Arkansans.

In Northwest Arkansas, Democratic leaders showed up and made themselves heard at Fayetteville’s Pride parade with state Rep. David Whitaker marching down Dickson Street with many others. 

In Little Rock, state Rep. Tippi McCullough marked the occasion by seamlessly folding it into America’s pastime. She threw out the first pitch at the Arkansas Travelers baseball game, representing Central Arkansas Pride.

Currently, Rep. McCullough is the only LGBTQ+ representative in the Arkansas Legislature. She has long been an impassioned fighter for LGBTQ+ rights in Arkansas.

Rep. McCullough, took to Facebook to show what equal rights have meant to her.

Arkansas has miles to go to ensure full rights for all of its citizens. Despite gains through the courts, discrimination is still legal in Arkansas based on gender identity and sexual orientation, in housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, and insurance.

Arkansas Democrats have long fought hard to protect LGBTQ+ rights. During the 2017 session, Sen. Will Bond of Little Rock helped defeat two GOP sponsored transgender “bathroom” bills which would have trampled all over transgender rights. Legislative measures have also been pursued by Democrats to guarantee Constitutional Civil Rights protections.

But the battle ahead is tough, Republicans in the Arkansas Legislature have even passed laws banning cities and counties from enacting their own Civil Rights protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Let’s celebrate Pride, and let’s turn this energy into action!

Help Arkansas Democrats fight for LGBTQ+ rights!

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