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 two weeks.

“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.