Arkansas officials are planning to challenge the marriage licenses issued by several of the state’s same-sex couples, who say they have been discriminated against by the state.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday said the state of Arkansas has the right to recognize same-gender marriages performed in other states.
However, in a 7-1 decision, the justices ruled that Arkansas’ ban on same-marriage is unconstitutional.
The state argued the ban is necessary because gay couples are likely to have children with same- sex partners.
In a statement on Friday, the governor’s office said the governor “believes in the equal dignity of all persons regardless of sexual orientation.”
“The state’s ban on marriage equality is rooted in the Constitution, which declares that ‘the laws of nature and of nature’s God,’ and the Constitution’s text prohibits state and local governments from denying or abridging the free exercise of religion,” the statement said.
The state of Alabama also sued the state over the ban.
“The plaintiffs have been denied the ability to get a marriage license and have their marriages solemnized, but this is just the beginning,” said attorney Roberta Johnson, who represents two couples in the Alabama case.
The plaintiffs were able to get married in December 2015, but the state has denied them the right for a marriage ceremony because it does not recognize same sex marriages performed elsewhere.
Johnson said the plaintiffs are now appealing to the Supreme Court.
“Our hope is that they will rule that the Constitution doesn’t require marriage to be between two people of the same sex,” she said.