The Arkansas judge who is considering
arguments in a challenge to Arkansas' ban on gay marriage said
Thursday that he expects to issue a ruling by May 9.
At an April 17 hearing, Pulaski County
Judge Chris Piazza said that he expected to issue a decision within
“Judge Piazza has asked me to notify
you that he would like to take an additional week to consider the
case law, briefs of parties, and arguments of counsel,” a
clerk wrote in a letter to attorneys. “He feels confident that
he will have a ruling for the parties no later than Friday, May 9th.”
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include 21
gay couples and a lesbian who wants the state to recognize her New
York marriage so she can divorce her wife.
Arkansas voters in 2004 approved
Amendment 83, an amendment to the state's constitution which defines
marriage as a heterosexual union.
Late last year, Piazza refused
plaintiffs' request to stop enforcement of the ban, but he also
denied the state's request to dismiss the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was one of the first filed
after the Supreme Court in June struck down a key provision of the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal benefits to
legally married gay couples, and issued a ruling which opened the
door for same-sex marriages to resume in California.