By Laura Button
Monday morning hundreds of people lined up outside courthouse steps in Arkansas as the county clerk opened the doors 45 minutes early and welcomed everyone. The attorney general had the highest court suspend a ruling that banned same-sex marriage which led to a rush to the courthouse. People lined up as soon as the news broke, waiting in line with drinks and pastries donated by the local office of the Human Rights Campaign and a half dozen other organizations supporting same sex marriage. Members of the clergy joined the gathering performing marriage ceremonies along with four locally elected circuit judges.
“We’re overjoyed to be recognized by the state of Arkansas,” Rick Ward, 47 said after marrying his partner of 17 years, Scott Harder, 45. “The freight train of equality is roaring across the country, and people need to wake up and be aware of it.” Though a high majority of Arkansas voters voted to ban same-sex marriage there were only two protesters out at the courthouse Monday morning. The suspension of the act could be temporary and it is unclear how long the marriage licenses will be available for same-sex couples.