FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – June 9, 2015 – The Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality commends Judge Wendell Griffen’s ruling today that recognizes more than 500 same-sex marriages issued across Arkansas in May 2014. The ruling requires the state Finance and Administration Department to allow the couples to file state income taxes as married couples and allows spouses of state employees to receive the same health insurance coverage as other employee spouses.

Cheryl Maples, an attorney representing plaintiffs in the case, will be honored by NWA Center for Equality as grand marshal of the 9th annual NWA Pride Parade and Festival in Fayetteville June 27th.

Statement by NWA Center for Equality:

“This ruling by Judge Wendell Griffen is another historic win for generations of Arkansans who have suffered inequality and discrimination under state law. This is another step forward in ensuring all married couples in our state receive the same legal protections and benefits. Today we celebrate with the more than 500 loving couples whose marriages have been in legal limbo for more than a year, challenged by the very leaders and judges elected to protect their rights. Later this month, we will celebrate these and future same-sex marriages down Dickson Street with attorney Cheryl Maples, grand marshal of this year’s NWA Pride parade.”

“We urge Attorney General Lisa Rutledge and others to accept this ruling and let love win rather than continuing to divide Arkansas with fear and hate.”

About NWA Center for Equality
The NWA Center for Equality is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which leads a grassroots support and advocacy movement working to achieve full equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community in Northwest Arkansas. More information is available at nwaequality.org.

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