Maybe it's just coincidence, but minutes after the U.S. Senate voted for legislation to prohibit workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel
announced approval of the form of a proposed constitutional amendment to repeal Arkansas's ban on same-sex marriage
and civil unions.
Here's the opinion
. It approves, after earlier rejections, the Arkansas Marriage Amendment,
proposed by Jack Weir, founder of the Arkansas Intiative for Marriage Equality. It would recognize marriage as a union of two people regardless of sex. It would not require clergy to perform ceremonies. It would repeal voter-approved Amendment 83. It leaves the legislature power to regulate marriage, subject to the amendment.
McDaniel earlier gave appeal to a proposal that simply repealed the constitutional ban. Another group, so far unsuccessful, has also been working to get the required approval as to form for a measure addressing same-sex marriage.
More than 78,000 signatures of voters would have to be gathered by July to get the proposal on the 2014 ballot. But Weir reminds me that, though the petition drive may begin soon, his group is pointing NOT toward 2014, but the 2016 election. Pending court cases attack the constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage on legal grounds.