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
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
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.
provided by Equality Case Files.)