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Judge strikes all Arkansas bans on gay marriage



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- A judge cleared the way on Thursday for gay marriages to resume in Arkansas, striking down all state laws that prevent same-sex couples from wedding.

A day after the state Supreme Court effectively halted gay marriages in the state, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza expanded his ruling striking down a constitutional ban to also include the prohibition on clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Justices had ruled Wednesday that Piazza's decision on the gay marriage ban did not change that license law.

Piazza also rejected a request to suspend his ruling, saying there's no evidence the state would be harmed by allowing gay marriages to continue.

"The same cannot be said of the plaintiffs and other same-sex couples who have not been afforded the same measure of human dignity, respect and recognition by this state as their similarly situated, opposite sex counterparts," Piazza wrote. "A stay would operate to further damage Arkansas families and deprive them of equal access to the rights associated with marriage status in this state."

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office said he would appeal and was asking the high court to suspend Piazza's latest order. McDaniel, a Democrat, recently said he supports gay marriage but would continue defending the state's ban in court.

"This order clarifies what we understood Judge Piazza had attempted to do last week, and it does not change our posture of seeking a stay from the Arkansas Supreme Court and pursuing an appeal," McDaniel spokesman Aaron Sadler said.

Pulaski County, one of two counties that had been issuing licenses before the high court's decision, said it planned to resume issuing licenses to same-sex couples immediately. The other, Washington County, was not issuing licenses Thursday.

An attorney for the couples who had sued over the ban said he wasn't surprised by the ruling.

"I think his intent all along was to strike down any of these statutes that interfered with a same-sex couple obtaining a marriage license in the state," attorney Jack Wagoner said. "The fact he didn't call out the statute number of one of those statutes was an oversight."

Last Friday, Piazza threw out a 10-year-old ban that voters placed in the state constitution, as well as a separate state law barring same-sex marriages.

After Piazza's decision last Friday, clerks in five counties responded by issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Through Wednesday evening, 456 gay couples in Arkansas had since received permission to marry, according to an Associated Press canvass of county clerks. By Wednesday, only Pulaski and Washington counties were issuing licenses.

Arkansas voters approved a gay marriage ban by a 3-to-1 margin in 2004.

Seventeen other states allow gay marriage. Judges have struck down bans in Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

Join the discussion

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bmor856868 May 15 2014 at 9:59 PM

I don't have a problem with a civil union and same sex couples having the same advantages as "married people". However I would prefer that it not be called marriage because of my Christian views. God tells me to hate the sin, not the sinner. Sin is sin. None is greater than the other. However I am told to not sin anymore and ask for forgiveness. I sin daily and continue to ask for forgiveness. Thank God I live in America and can express MY opinion. God bless you all. And God bless America.

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5 replies
richsglobal May 16 2014 at 1:35 AM

How Is It A Judge Can Overturn The Vote Of The People? I DON'T GET IT !!!!

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7 replies
yomkippur888 May 16 2014 at 4:40 AM

People who play with each others dung, pooh and kakah ought to be sent to Sudan or Egypt to be canned in public after Friday prayers. The only problem with that idea is that the last time it happened when caught in Saudi Arabia two American Queers begged for more canning because they enjoyed it. It was strapped to their behinds.

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1 reply
kitcumbie yomkippur888 May 16 2014 at 12:38 PM

Does your mother know that you play with your crap?

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yomkippur888 May 16 2014 at 4:50 AM

This now represents a great way for foreigners to enter India without actually getting married. You get an Asian man from China who may form a relationship with an American man neither of whom are queer. They would claim to be in a queer relationship and would seek to get married in the US. The "husband" the American woud then apply for his "spouse" the Chinese chap to remain and cite human rights grounds as well to enable the non queer Chinese under this scam to remain as a permanent resident then later citizen.

Its already being done in Australia for $25,000 a pop plus associated costs. Because Chinese families are not allowed to have more than one child, women's rights groups have been advocating and have successfully lobbied for more than 10,000 Chinese women to remain after they fell pregnant to Australians.

Nice people these white people but dammned little between their ears. Bring out the Klan and save us all.

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3 replies
pmjohnson1717 May 16 2014 at 6:36 AM

When judges make decisions like this, they legislate against the will of the people and legislate perversion to society. I can no longer respect the law or those who enforce it. Tyranny has come and Dumbobama has helped to bring it about.

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7 replies
Rollin L. Schwab May 16 2014 at 7:04 AM

We can legislate all we want, that however does not mean a majority of the PUBLIC will accept it.

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2 replies
JOHN Rollin L. Schwab May 16 2014 at 7:10 AM

That is why we need legislation. However a majority of the public is no longer opposed to it but you would not know that because facts aren't your friend.

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2 replies
plewdawg JOHN May 16 2014 at 8:36 AM

What were the facts in CA on Prop 8 when you put it on the ballot and was so sure the flagship of gayness would show the world how much it was accepted. Hahaha...Now you cringe and live in fear at the mention of a state putting it on the ballot. You and I both know twinkie what will happen. And if so, will you sashay away?

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kitcumbie JOHN May 16 2014 at 12:36 PM

plewdawg you are a nasty and filthy little lying bastard from Hell.

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kitcumbie Rollin L. Schwab May 16 2014 at 7:49 AM

Aren't you just so cute when you are ignorant. According to almost every single poll a majority of Americans do accept it. You bigots are screwed.

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5 replies
redroad9 May 16 2014 at 7:38 AM

It was the law to not let one race wed one of another race. Many mixed race people had to hide the fact and did for hundreds of years. The courts ruled against this years ago. I see no difference here. Some states like the one I live in a Indian (native American) could not own land. Since the one drop ruled it forced many who looked white to hide there ancestry. Some of the ones who are against this ruling are always complaining that we have to many laws. They want less regulations. Now they find one they like they are all for it. It's called BS folks.

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1 reply
plewdawg redroad9 May 16 2014 at 8:34 AM

Marriage is not a right. Segregation is. Big difference. Indians won many of their lawsuits in court over their treatment and land issues. Gay arguments on this are always twisted and full of lies. I defer any of you back to the SCOTUS ruling. They made gay marriage recognized at all federal levels. The states (people) are to decide on their own. What are gays afraid of if they think they are so loved and supported? A repeat of their disaster Prop 8 azz whipping in CA? I think so

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2 replies
CARLTON plewdawg May 16 2014 at 9:18 AM

plewdawg: You're still living in the 19th century if you believe that marriage is not a right and segregation is.

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kitcumbie plewdawg May 16 2014 at 12:35 PM

How fortunate we are that every single on of the higher courts disagree with you. Do I follow the lead of the courts or do I listen to an unbelievably stupid and jackhat poster like you?

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HonknDodge May 16 2014 at 7:55 AM

The world as we know it is coming to an end!

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2 replies
massagebearnj HonknDodge May 16 2014 at 8:43 AM

Yes, Discrimination against your own people will be no more.

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1 reply
brwnysbrb massagebearnj May 16 2014 at 9:22 AM

The Lord will be the final judge of us all.

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roxenlord HonknDodge May 16 2014 at 9:21 AM

Yes, a world where LGBT youth are bullied, bashed, chased out of their homes and disowned by their parents and the sentiments causing this are acceptable public opinions spread and preached in religious institutions and written into law is coming to an end. Not soon enough!

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matthewpatterson33 May 16 2014 at 7:56 AM

sickening,,,god will give swift judgement on this country very soon....

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4 replies
kyledddc May 16 2014 at 12:52 AM

Saying your gay is like saying, "I am an abused person"

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2 replies
Spurrti kyledddc May 16 2014 at 1:28 AM

Your an abused person.

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1 reply
Rollin L. Schwab Spurrti May 16 2014 at 7:06 AM

Those kind of smart A-- remarks have no place here.

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kitcumbie kyledddc May 16 2014 at 7:54 AM

Showing that you are a bigot is like spreading your cheeks and begging to be screwed by your own d***.

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