Same-sex couples lined up at the Pulaski County Courthouse in May 2014
Pulaski County Circuit Clerk Larry Crane
says residents shouldn't expect his office to immediately start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples
if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in support of marriage equality tomorrow or Monday. Crane said when or if his office will be able to begin issuing licenses will depend on how the opinion from the SCOTUS is phrased.
"We'll have to see exactly what it says," Crane said. "As you well know, legal opinions aren't necessarily all-encompassing, and depending on how it's phrased and what is said, we will do whatever we think is appropriate."
Asked if he believes his office has the authority to issue licenses based solely on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the absence of an up or down ruling from the Arkansas Supreme Court, Crane said that will depend on whether the U.S. Supreme Court ruling is "very clear." He will consult with others about the ruling before taking any action, he said.
"I'm a lawyer, and every once in awhile, I'm a pretty good lawyer," Crane said. "But having said that, I would certainly be in a position where I would consult with the other lawyer on my staff and then with the county attorney at the very least. I will not be making that decision in a vacuum, and I'm confident that the Association of Arkansas Counties will be looking at it, too."
Crane said same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses are welcome to gather at the Pulaski County Courthouse if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down state bans on gay marriage, but adds, "whether we'll be able to start issuing licenses then would be uncertain."