ARKANSAS: AG Again Seeks Marriage Stay From State Supreme Court

For the second time in three days, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today pressed the state Supreme Court to issue a stay on last Friday’s marriage ruling.

Responding to a request filed by lawyers for gay couples seeking the dismissal of his appeal, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office asked the court to suspend Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza’s ruling striking down a 2004 constitutional amendment approved by voters and a similar 1997 state law. Piazza ruled Friday that the prohibition violates the U.S. and Arkansas constitution. About 400 marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex couples since Piazza’s ruling. Only Pulaski and Washington, two of the state’s most populous counties, were still issuing licenses to gay couples, and clerks in both locations said they would do so until a Supreme Court order told them otherwise.

Today’s filing by McDaniel agreed with a complaint filed Monday in Carroll County, where Eureka Springs clerks suspended the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses after a local attorney pointed out that a separate state law specifically prohibits them from doing so. Piazza’s ruling last week apparently only overturned the ban in the state constitution.