Judge Strikes All Arkansas Bans On Gay Marriages, Allowing Them To Resume

May 15, 2014

An Arkansas judge has struck down all state laws preventing gay couples from marrying, expanding on his order finding such bans unconstitutional.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza clarified his ruling on Thursday, a day after the state Supreme Court noted that a prohibition on county clerks issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples still stood. Piazza also denied the state's motion to suspend his decision.

The high court ruling effectively halted gay marriages in the state, with the two counties that had been issuing licenses to same-sex couples saying they'd stop. Pulaski County, the state's largest, said it planned to resume issuing the licenses after Piazza's order.

Piazza had last week struck down a constitutional amendment and an earlier law banning same-sex marriage.

With the judge's action, Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane says he'll immediately resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The county has issued more than half of the marriage licenses received by gay couples in Arkansas since last week.

The clerk's office suspended issuing marriage licenses to gay couples earlier in the day, after an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling Wednesday.