It's the Friday before Christmas and that generally signals a near-instant decline in news, sometimes until after Jan. 1. But the Arkansas Blog will be on standby, as close as an e-mail. Here's the holiday eve open line, with a few things:
* ANOTHER RULING AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE BAN
: A Utah federal judge has struck down
that state's ban on same-sex marriage
as a violation of the federal equal protection amendment. I hope we can say the same in Arkansas before too very long in a pending lawsuit here. From the New York Times:
Judge Shelby said the state had failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way, and that the state’s unsupported fears and speculations were not sufficient to justify barring same-sex marriages.
Lawyers for the state had argued that Utah’s law promoted the state’s interest in “responsible procreation” and the “optimal mode of child-rearing.” The lawsuit was brought by three gay and lesbian couples in Utah.
More analysis — the judge used Antonin Scalia's past work to buttress his opinion, available here along with full ruling
UPDATE: They're issuing licenses in Utah.
* BIG BUCKS:
Thanks to reader TMI for contributing to a discussion on
the University of Arkansas
a link to the 700-plus-page report on the public college and university administrators
in Arkansas who made $100,000 or more
* WILD BLUE YONDER
: No Arkansas angle here but what a wild tale
— the high-ranking Air Force general who went on a drunken escapade to Russia.
* IN OTHER NEWS
: Some items of interest at Channel 4: A blind man was struck
by a hit-and-run driver while trying to cross Rodney Parham at Markham Street. At the legislature, Tea Party lawmakers couldn't stop
spending of federal money to implement health insurance exchanges in Arkansas. A Benton couple have been charged
in a kidnapping attempt for taking a child from a house in what has been described as part of a custody dispute.