Monday, May 12, 2014
Around 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 12, Carroll County courthouses were ordered to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Independent received a faxed press release from the office of Carroll County Prosecuting Attorney, Tony Rogers, shortly thereafter, stating:
“This office was notified this morning by Mike Rainwater that there was a law left on the books prohibiting a county clerk from issuing a marriage license to persons of the same gender. This law was not addressed by Judge Piazza, and because of this, we advised the county clerk to stop selling marriage licenses to person of the same gender.”
Rainwater is an injury attorney with Rainwater, Holt and Sexton in Little Rock.
A phone call to Larry Crane, Pulaski County Clerk in Little Rock, confirmed that same gender licenses are still being issued in Pulaski, Perry and Saline Counties. Responding to being read the information in the press release, Crane said, “I personally don’t think that’s a problem. Judge Piazza’s ruling is a mandate to me to issue marriage licenses irrespective of gender.”
Crane was one of two defendants in the case in which Judge Piazza overturned the ban on gay marriage. “The order from Judge Piazza was issued to me personally,” Crane said, and indicated there was no question about the order in Pulaski and Perry counties because the two clerks were named defendants in the case.
“Outside of these counties, every county with some question about what they should be doing needs to contact their local legal advisor, usually the prosecuting attorney’s office, or whichever legal advisor they turn to in the normal course of business,” Crane explained. “Only I and Perry County and Saline County know for sure what we should be doing at this point.”
Crane seemed confident everything would eventually be worked out in all county courthouses, but cautioned, “the answer probably won’t be immediate.”
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