US: Arkansas couples ask federal judge to strike down state’s same-sex marriage ban

Katie Dupere July 16, 2014
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Attorneys for two same-sex couples asked an Arkansas federal judge Wednesday to order the striking down of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The attorneys requested a summary judgment, asking US District Judge Kristine Baker to rule the state’s constitutional amendment which outlaws same-sex marriage, and any other related laws, unconstitutional.

The lawsuit filed by the couples against the state was submitted last year before the state’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down, only to be reinstated.

On 9 May 2014, Judge Chris Piazza found that the state’s ban was unconstitutional, stating it was “an attempt to narrow the definition of equality” and calling the ban a “dangerous precedent.” 

Another law was found on Arkansas’ books on 15 May 2014, which Judge Piazza did not mention in his first ruling, that prohibited clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. 

Marriages were briefly stopped. But the same day, Judge Piazza expanded his original ruling, striking down all statutes in the state which barred same-sex couples from marrying. 

On 16 May 2014, Arkansas Supreme Court put the marriage ban back in place despite more than 500 couples already having married. 

More: Americas, Arkansas, Civil partnerships, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, US, wedding

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