An Arkansas judge has ordered officials to recognize the marriages of more than 500 gay and lesbian couples performed in the state last year.

The marriages took place last May during the brief window when such unions were legal in Arkansas. The Arkansas Supreme Court halted the issuance of marriage licenses to gay couples a week after another judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen chided state officials who refused to recognize the marriages.

“With shameless disrespect for fundamental fairness and equality, [Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Director Larry Walters] insists on treating the marriages of same-sex couples who received marriage licenses between May 9 and May 15 as 'void from inception as a mater of law,'” Griffen stated in his ruling.

Two couples whose unions the state refused to recognize sued in February.

“They finally got some major progress they've been waiting so long for,” Cheryl Maples, an attorney for the couples, told the AP. “They've been married over a year now and as of right now they're really married.”

The state has not said whether it will seek an appeal.