An Arkansas judge on Friday declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, the second such ruling in the South. Though certain to be appealed, Friday’s decision is a victory for 21 gay and lesbian couples who challenged an Arkansas constitutional amendment, adopted by 75 percent of voters in 2004, stating that “marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman.” Referring to the US Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v Virginia, the 1967 ruling that invalidated bans on inter-racial marriage, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza said, “It has been over forty years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice. The hatred and fears have long since vanished and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples. More