Mark Pryor Acknowledges Voting For Arkansas Marriage Equality Ban

May 16, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

WASHINGTON -- In the wake of a judge's decision allowing same-sex couples to begin marrying in Arkansas, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) has reiterated that he remains one of the only Democratic senators who still does not support marriage equality.

Last week, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled that Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Voters approved the ballot measure in 2004 by a 3 to 1 margin, and couples started getting married in the state this week.

On Monday, Pryor restated his opposition to marriage equality and acknowledged that he voted for the ballot measure in 2004. His response was caught in tracking footage obtained by America Rising, the GOP opposition research super PAC.

"My position on that specifically is well-documented," said Pryor. "That was a ballot initiative here in Arkansas ... I voted for the amendment to ban gay marriage in Arkansas."

Watch Pryor's remarks in the video above.

Last year, Pryor also said he was unsure if being gay is a choice. (It's not.)

When asked for comment, Pryor spokesman Erik Dorey noted that while the senator has not changed his mind about same-sex marriage, he supports equality for gays and lesbians in other areas.

"Mark supports the traditional definition of marriage," said Dorey. "He also voted to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," supported legislation to end workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and as Arkansas' attorney general, Mark was an early champion for laws against hate crimes."

Pryor is facing a challenge from Rep. Tom Cotton (R), who also opposes marriage equality.

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) said he intends to appeal Piazza's ruling, even though he personally backs marriage equality. McDaniel is the first statewide elected official in Arkansas to publicly announce his support for the issue.


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