Arkansas has asked the state Supreme Court to issue a stay in a lower court's ruling declaring invalid Arkansas' ban on gay marriage.

After stalling for several hours, Carroll County Clerk Jane Osborne on Saturday issued the state's first marriage license to a gay couple – Kristin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo of Fort Smith – following Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's Friday ruling knocking down a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment and 1997 law prohibiting gay couples from marrying.

The state asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to issue an emergency stay in the ruling as it pursues an appeal. According to the Arkansas Times, the court has given plaintiffs until noon Tuesday to file a response.

Citing the Supreme Court's recent granting of a stay in Herbert v. Kitchen, the federal case challenging Utah's marriage ban, lawyers for the state argued that “the Supreme Court has already indicated the likelihood that the Supreme Court will ultimately affirm state marriage laws such as Amendment 83 and Arkansas Act 144 of 1997.”

“More importantly, the Supreme Court has indicated that a stay is appropriate under the circumstances of this case, regardless of how the appellate court may rule,” the document states.

As courthouses opened Monday, only a handful were recognizing Piazza's order.

In the state's largest county, Pulaski, gay and lesbian couples flooded the Little Rock courthouse, with many marrying immediately after receiving their licenses.

(Brief provided by Equality Case Files.)