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Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Stop in Eureka Springs

EUREKA SPRINGS, AR-- While the state is sifting through the legality of the issue, dozens of same-sex couples are taking the opportunity to marry for the first time.
EUREKA SPRINGS, AR-- While the state is sifting through the legality of same-sex marriage, dozens of same-sex couples are taking the opportunity to marry for the first time.

Carroll County is one of only four in the entire state that has been granted marriage licenses for same sex couples.

And while many in Eureka Springs know the legality of the ruling is still in the early stages, they say this is just another step toward equality.

As was the case on a historic Saturday in Eureka Springs. Same sex couples once again lined the court house steps on Monday for a marriage license.

The lines were shorter because three other Arkansas counties also began issuing licenses to same sex couples. But at 11 a.m., the doors to the Clerk's office in Eureka Springs closed.

"I've heard a lot of speculation as to why,” says former mayor of Eureka Springs, Beau Satori. “The lamest one is that the license says "Mr. and Mrs."

Satori has performed 20 of the some 30 weddings held inside or outside the courthouse.

"We have to do everything we can to stand up for equality,” says Satori. “You're not seeing so many young people get married like heterosexual couples in their teens. What we have here are mature couples who already have decades together."

Couples like Mary Pinkley and Brenda Goodwin were able to get married Monday morning, after a circuit court judge ruled to overturn a ban on gay marriage that was voted on by residents in 2004.

The two says they also attempted to get married on Friday and, even when they knew they were going to be turned away, they stayed in line.

Because a stay wasn't granted in the circuit court's ruling, the decision to issue licenses has been left in the hands of county clerks.

The Arkansas Attorney General has since requested a stay, while the court considers an appeal.

Still Satori says this is a step in the right direction.

“We look at all the other states,” says Satori. “They went through similar tribulations, and they all ended up with marriage equality."
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