Gay Marriage: Arkansas Attorney General Backs Same-Sex Marriage, But Defends Ban

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Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel spoke out on gay marriage today and let everyone know that he believes in marriage equality. While having another politician that supports same-sex marriage should be a good thing from the gay rights perspective, McDaniel's admission is pretty much meaningless, as the attorney general says he will continue to uphold his state's ban on gay marriages.

That's right. McDaniel says he is tired of gays being treated like "second class citizens," but said he won't do anything to change his state's law in pretty much the same breath.

McDaniel, a Democrat, spoke at a convention today and decided to share his personal views on gay marriage. McDaniel said that he has been struggling with the decision to speak out on marriage equality for years, but finally wanted to let everyone know where he stands.

"I want to tell you I do support marriage equality and I do believe Arkansans should have the right to be equal in the eyes of the law," said McDaniel. "I'm going to zealously defend our constitution, but at the same time I think it's important to let people where I stand on the matter." McDaniel further said, "It's become more and more difficult for me to accept the idea of anyone being treated as a second class citizen."

Arkansas banned recognizing gay marriages in 2004, but a lawsuit filed in 2013 that will be decided in the coming week could change that. While the recognition of gay marriage is banned under the Arkansas state constitution, the group of same-sex couples that are challenging the ban maintain that the refusal to recognize these marriages goes against the federal and state constitutions.

McDaniel's admission about where he stands on gay marriage has left many people confused, with some accusing him of talking out of both sides of his mouth. Check out the Twitter reaction to McDaniel's stance on gay marriage below.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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