Appeals Court Formally Upholds Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Aug 11, 2015

A same-sex couple in line to become among the first to get a marriage license in Little Rock on May 12, 2014, a few days after a judge struck down the state's ban.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling striking down Arkansas' gay marriage ban, finding that the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage didn't render the state case moot.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker's decision last year to strike down a 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Arkansas had suggested Baker's decision was moot after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down gay marriage bans nationwide in June, and asked the appeals panel to vacate her decision. The appeals court rejected the motion to vacate.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge in June said county clerks must issue licenses to same-sex couples following the high court's ruling.