Gay Marriage License Ban Remains On Books After Judge’s Ruling Suspended

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The Arkansas Supreme Court on Friday issued a stay suspending a circuit judge’s ruling from a day before that allowed county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, according to officials at the Supreme Court office in Little Rock.

The stay on the judge’s ruling means a law at least temporarily remains on the books banning Arkansas county clerks from issuing same sex marriage licenses.

Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza issued a ruling last Friday (May 9) finding Arkansas’ law banning same sex marriage unconstitutional, but did not address a separate law prohibiting county clerks from issuing same sex marriage licenses.

Several county clerks then on Monday began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Pulaski and Washington counties were the only two counties in the state that continued to issue same sex marriage licenses through Wednesday.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an opinion addressing Piazza’s original ruling. The high court found his ruling was incomplete, and the law banning same sex marriage licenses from being distributed remained on the books.

Piazza followed up the Supreme Court’s ruling with a follow-up ruling of his own Thursday, banning Arkansas’ law against same sex marriage licenses. The high court a day later suspended Piazza’s most recent ruling, keeping the same sex marriage license ban on the books.

Pulaski and Washington counties stopped distributing same sex marriage licenses Thursday, but continued Friday following Piazza’s most recent ruling.