This Couple Fought for and Won Legal Rights for Married Same-Sex Arkansans, Now They React to SCOTUS Ruling

Around Arkansas
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CENTRAL ARKANSAS — Two Arkansas women who fought for same-sex marriage rights in the state spoke out Friday about the Supreme Court’s ruling to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

Angelia Frazier-Henson married Kathy Henson in Pulaski County in 2014 during the small window that same-sex marriage was legal in Arkansas. Frazier-Henson and Henson, along with another couple, filed a complaint, and won, fighting for marriage rights and recognition (Frazier-Henson v. Walther). They were also plaintiffs in the case Wright v. Arkansas, which ruled Arkansas’s ban on same-sex is unconstitutional.

The couple released this statement regarding Friday’s SCOTUS ruling:

My reaction to the SCOTUS ruling today is that I am proud to be a citizen of a country where minorities’ rights and protections do matter! Even if we have to fight at times to the highest court of this great country to have that clarified.

As a plaintiff in both Wright v Arkansas and Frazier-Henson v Walther (AR window marriage case) it is a great day that SCOTUS took a stand for all marriages and said every citizen in this country has a right to marriage and that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against same-sex couples. This has been long awaited here in Arkansas since we have a state Supreme Court that was unwilling to take a stand and follow the state and federal civil rights laws. Today we can safely travel to any state and know our marriage and the rights, privileges and protections must be recognized. That knowledge creates a safety and security that people that have never faced being denied it will never fully understand.

All this is said but we have to remember this is one step in a larger journey. We can no longer have our right to marry taken away from us but we still face employment and housing discrimination in many states, expecially here in Arkansas. More work has to be done for full equality to happen. Today we are a little more equal and we will celebrate this victory. Tomorrow we continue the work for all people to be fully equal under the laws of our country and so that minority groups in our population no longer are subject to the majorities’ desire to create second class citizens.

–Angelia Frazier-Henson and Kathy Henson

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