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LGBT Rights Opponents Pray for Arkansas to Uphold State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

LGBT Rights Opponents Pray for Arkansas to Uphold State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban


As marriage equality cases move forward in Arkansas, some pray for the state's ban on same-sex marriage to be upheld.

Opponents of marriage equality prayed Wednesday outside the Arkansas capitol building in Little Rock, where oral arguments begin today in two marriage cases.

Though there were some equality proponents, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports, it was mostly people opposed to marriage equality that made up the crowd of about 300. Among them was Josh Duggar, executive director of Family Research Council legislative arm of FRC Action.

Duggar, one of the titular offspring from the reality series 19 Kids and Counting,joined FRC Action last summer. He said there is "an agenda to silence ... those of us who believe in what is right," according to the Democrat-Gazette.

"Let me tell you, they're taking away your right to speak. And I call on the Arkansas Supreme Court to stand with the people and to honor their vote," said Duggar, referring to a 2004 ballot measure that defined marriage in the state as a one-man, one-woman arrangement.

A judge struck down that same-sex marriage ban in May, and some same-sex couples wed in the brief window before an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling put things into a holding pattern. The state's high court rejected a request to stay the ruling, but they ruled that another still-intact state statute barred same-sex nuptials. There is also a federal lawsuit in the mix, with arguments in both cases taking place today.

Also at the capitol to lobby against marriage for same-sex couples was Jerry Cox, who heads the Family Council in Arkansas. A few years ago, Cox garnered some media attention for his claims that California's observance of Harvey Milk Day, a holiday to honor the gay political trailblazer, would require schoolchildren to participate in mock same-sex weddings and cross-dressing contests.

Recently, an Arkansas church received a racist, anti-LGBT note after an area newspaper published a letter to the editor by a minister from the congregation. The letter expressed support for marriage equality and the separation of church and state.

Watch a KARK news report from the rally:

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