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Arkansas Supreme Court Will Not Stay Ruling on Gay Marriage
A request by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses was rejected by the state’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, according to USA Today.
Last week, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled that a ban on gay marriage approved by voters was unconstitutional. A couple of counties in the state began to issue marriage licenses and by the middle of the week, 450 couples received those licenses.
The majority of the counties in Arkansas refused to issue the licenses, claiming that the Supreme Court had to offer its opinion before they would issue licenses. McDaniel wanted a stay because clerks did not know if they were obligated to issue the licenses.
“Confusion is pervasive, and this court should exercise its superintending authority over circuit courts to issue a stay,” Assistant Attorney General Colin Jorgensen wrote in the brief.
The attorneys representing the couples who filed the lawsuit to overturn the voter-approved ban said that the appeal by McDaniel was too early because Piazza never issued a final order in the case.
Larry Crane, the Pulaski County clerk, met with his legal counsel after the decision of the Supreme Court was made. Crane said that his clerk’s office will stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses until further notice.
Cheryl Maples was one of the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit. Maples said that she was happy with the decision by the Supreme Court.
“If you read (Piazza’s) previous decision that was handed down, there is no question he found those laws unconstitutional, period,” Maples said. “He will uphold the licenses that were issued and he will uphold the actions by the clerk and things will get right back to where they were.”Arkansas Supreme Court Will Not Stay Ruling on Gay Marriage by Jim Vassallo