Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3 (2004)
The Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ban Initiative, also known as Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3, was on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Arkansas as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure banned same-sex marriages. On May 9, 2014, the measure was overturned by Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza.
Court overturns measure
Almost ten years after the passage of Proposal 3, the measure was overturned on May 9, 2014, with no stay being provided. The state argued that the Arkansas had a right to ban same-sex marriage in order to protect children, preserve tradition and favor the ability to procreate. The court found those arguments illegitimate because "no law requires opposite-sex couples to have children or precludes same-sex couples from taking care of them."
A marriage license is a civil document and is not, nor can it be, based upon any particular faith. Same-sex couples are a morally disliked minority and the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages is driven by animus rather than a rational basis. This violates the United States Constitution. 
—Judge Chris Piazza, 
Arkansas Supreme Court appeal
A week prior to this ruling, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) had stated that he did not personally support measures against same-sex marriages, but that he would continue to defend them as it was required of his office. McDaniel announced on May 10, 2014 that he intended to appeal the court's decision. He had asked Piazza to suspend his ruling until such appeals could be made, but Piazza issued no such stay. The matter now goes to the Arkansas Supreme Court. However, marriage licenses to same-sex couples were already being issued the day following the decision.
|Arkansas Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3 (2004)|
|Overturned Case:M. Kendall Wright, et al. v. State of Arkansas 60CV-13-2662|
Text of measure
The wording on the ballot said, "Providing that marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman; that legal status for unmarried person which is identical or substantially similar to marital status shall not be valid or recognized in Arkansas, except that the legislature may recognize a common law marriage from another state between a man and a woman; and that the legislature has the power to determine the capacity of persons to marry, subject to this amendment, and the legal rights, obligations, privileges, and immunities of marriage."
The measure was supported by the Arkansas Family Council.
Financing the campaign
$334,731 was spent in favor of the amendment, while only $2,952 was spent against it.
The two major donors to the pro-campaign were:
- The Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee, $226,051.
- Families First Action Committee, $73,374.
The following are measures that banned or attempted to ban same-sex marriages. Note that a number of them have been overturned.
- Alaska Marriage Amendment, Measure 2 (1998)
- Nevada Marriage Amendment, Question 2 (2002)
- Missouri Marriage Definition, Amendment 2 (August 2004)
- Louisiana Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (September 2004)
- Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3 (2004)
- Georgia Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2004)
- Kentucky Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Michigan Marriage Amendment, Proposal 2 (2004)
- Mississippi Marriage Definition, Amendment 1 (2004)
- Montana Marriage Verification, Measure CI-96 (2004)
- North Dakota Definition of Marriage, Constitutional Measure 1 (2004)
- Ohio Issue 1, the Marriage Amendment (2004)
- Oklahoma Marriage Question 711 (2004)
- Oregon Marriage Measure 36 (2004)
- Utah Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 3 (2004)
- Kansas Marriage Amendment (2005)
- Texas Definition of Marriage Act, Proposition 2 (2005)
- Alabama Sanctity of Marriage, Constitutional Amendment 774 (June 2006)
- Arizona Protect Marriage, Proposition 107 (2006)
- Colorado Definition of Marriage, Initiative 43 (2006)
- Idaho Marriage Definition, HJR 2 (2006)
- South Carolina Amendment 1, the Marriage Act (2006)
- South Dakota Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Tennessee Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 1 (2006)
- Virginia Question 1, Marriage Amendment (2006)
- Wisconsin Marriage Amendment, Question 1 (2006)
- Arizona Marriage Protection, Proposition 102 (2008)
- California Proposition 8, the "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" Initiative (2008)
- Florida Definition of Marriage, Amendment 2 (2008)
- North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage, Amendment 1 (May 2012)
- Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment, Amendment 1 (2012)
- Arkansas 2004 ballot measures
- 2004 ballot measures
- List of Arkansas ballot measures
- List of ballot measures by year
- List of ballot measures by state
- Arkansas Elections Division, 2004 Election Results
- M. Kendall Wright, et al. v. State of Arkansas, Case No. 60CV-13-2662, "Order Granting Summary Judgment in Favor of the Plaintiffs and Finding Act 144 of 1997 and Amendment 83 Unconstitutional," May 9, 2014
- Al Jazeera America, "ARKANSAS JUDGE STRIKES DOWN GAY MARRIAGE BAN," May 9, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, "Arkansas ban on gay marriage struck down by county judge, with no stay," May 9, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Associated Press, "Arkansas to appeal same-sex marriage ruling," May 11, 2014
- Follow the Money database for Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 3 (2004)
State of Arkansas
Little Rock (capital)
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