The weddings of gay and lesbian couples
taking place in Arkansas since Saturday came to a halt on Friday when
the state Supreme Court issued a stay in a lower court's ruling
striking down the state's ban on such unions.
On May 9, Pulaski County Circuit Judge
Chris Piazza knocked down a 10-year-old voter-approved constitutional
amendment and a 1997 law prohibiting gay couples from marrying. A
handful of counties began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples
the following day.
On Wednesday, the high court refused to
stay Piazza's order, saying, essentially, that there was nothing to
stay since his order did not address a separate state law that
prohibits county clerks from issuing licenses to gay couples.
Marriages resumed on Thursday in
Pulaski County, the state's largest, after Piazza issued a new ruling
striking down all state laws preventing same-sex couples from
marrying. Washington County began issuing such licenses again Friday
According to the Arkansas
Times, the Arkansas Supreme Court “granted a request to put
on hold” Piazza's ruling pending an appeal.
Roughly 500 couples, most of them in
Pulaski County, exchanged vows in the last 6 days.
The Times reported that it was
uncertain if the case can be decided this calendar year.
lawmakers reject resolution calling on court to overturn gay marriage