Same-Sex Marriage in Arkansas

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.

Dustin McDaniel
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is again asking a judge to suspend his ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban.

McDaniel's office on Thursday asked Circuit Judge Chris Piazza to stay his ruling voiding the 2004 constitutional amendment and 1997 law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The state Supreme Court had effectively halted gay marriages performed in the wake of Piazza's ruling, noting that he didn't strike down a separate law barring clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Gay marriage same-sex marriage Arkansas
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected the state attorney general's request for a stay of a judge's ruling that overturned Arkansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage.

The high court on Wednesday turned down the request from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel that would have halted the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.

Gay marriage same-sex marriage Arkansas
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is again asking the state's highest court to suspend a ruling striking down a gay marriage ban, saying it's led to "pervasive" confusion among county clerks.

McDaniel's office on Wednesday told the Arkansas Supreme Court that the stay of Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's ruling against the gay marriage ban is needed because some clerks have been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

About 400 licenses have been issued so far, mostly in Pulaski and Washington counties.

Attorneys for a group of same-sex couples are asking Arkansas' highest court to reject efforts to suspend a judge's ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban.

Attorneys for the couples asked the state Supreme Court Tuesday to deny motions to stay Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's decision regarding the 2004 constitutional amendment and 1997 law banning same-sex marriage.

The attorney general and four counties named in the suit have asked justices to suspend Piazza's ruling.

Gay marriage same-sex marriage Arkansas
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A chief deputy clerk in Saline County says her office will suspend issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until they hear from the state's highest court.

The office Monday issued six certificates. Chief Deputy Clerk Darlene Westbrook said Tuesday they're waiting for the Arkansas Supreme Court to rule on whether same-sex marriages are legal in the state.

In east Arkansas, the Marion County clerk says her office will also stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses. County Clerk Dee Carleton said Tuesday two men from Yellville received their license on Monday.  

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Supreme Court is giving parties involved in the case that tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex marriage until noon Tuesday to respond to a request for a stay. Meanwhile hundreds of gay couples are taking advantage of the opportunity to wed.

Eureka Springs became the first location in the state where same-sex couples could get marriage licenses. Officials in the north Arkansas town began issuing them Saturday.

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