Judge Halts Homosexual Marriages in Arkansas

Supporters of Virginia's same-sex marriage ban hold a rally in front of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before a court hearing May 13, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Supporters of Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban hold a rally in front of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before a court hearing May 13, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The State Supreme Court has suspended a judge’s ruling striking down Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage, halting the issuance of licenses that have been obtained by hundreds of gay couples.

The court on Friday granted a request to suspend the decision of Judge Chris Piazza of the Pulaski County Circuit Court voiding a 2004 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Judge Piazza last week struck down the ban, but expanded that ruling on Thursday to include all state laws preventing gay couples from marrying.

Five counties named in the lawsuit asked the justices to stay Judge Piazza’s ruling while it is on appeal.

More than 540 same-sex couples received marriage licenses since Judge Piazza’s ruling last week, but the validity of those licenses remained uncertain.

Conway, Pulaski and Washington were the only counties issuing licenses to same-sex couples on Friday.

The Supreme Court ruling came as Democrats in the state legislature blocked an effort by Republicans to wade into the debate. A resolution calling on the court to uphold the same-sex marriage ban and invalidate the licenses issued to same-sex couples failed before a legislative panel.

SOURCE: The Associated Press

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