Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Saturday that he supports marriage equality, but will continue to defend the state's ban on gay marriage.

ā€œI want to tell you I do support marriage equality and I do believe Arkansans should have the right to be equal in the eyes of the law,ā€ McDaniel, a Democrat, is quoted as saying by the AP.

The state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman is being challenged in court. The judge reviewing the case said this week that he expects to hand down a ruling by Friday, May 9.

(Related: Arkansas gay marriage ruling expected May 9.)

ā€œI'm going to zealously defend our constitution, but at the same time I think it's important to let people know where I stand on the matter,ā€ McDaniel said.

A handful of Democratic state attorneys general have refused to defend similar bans.

While campaigning for his job in 2006, McDaniel voiced support for civil unions.