Two courts on Thursday heard similar
arguments in cases challenging Arkansas' ban on gay marriage.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris
Piazza in May knocked down the decade-old ban and a 1997 law
prohibiting gay couples from marrying. 541 gay couples received
marriage licenses in a handful of counties before the Arkansas
Supreme Court stepped in.
The state not only argued before the
state's highest court that the ban is constitutional but that Piazza
overstepped his authority, arguing that a constitutional amendment
cannot be declared unconstitutional.
Later in the day, U.S. District Judge
Kristine Baker heard similar arguments.
According to the Arkansas Times,
the hearing lasted a little over two hours. At its conclusion, Baker
said that she would issue her ruling in writing.
“I'm not going to rule from the
bench,” she said. “It's not my habit or practice.”
Lawyers Jack Wagoner and Cheryl Maples
represent plaintiffs in both cases.
“This court needs to do what's going
on all over this country, amazingly so,” said Maples, who has a gay
daughter. “This court needs to find that the Arkansas laws are
unconstitutional under the federal law and permit immediate marriages
to be taking place.”