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Judge Chris Piazza gay marriage: Controversial ruling ignites critics (+Video)

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Judge Chris Piazza's gay marriage ban ruling was met with fierce criticism after he declared the ban on gay marriage in the state of Arkansas as being unconstitutional. On Friday, Judge Chris Piazza of Pulaski County ruled that the constitutional amendment approved in 2004 by the voters of the state violates the rights of same-sex couples, The Associated Press reported via ABC News.

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Just last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he supports gay marriage but he will continue defending his state's 2004 ban on gay marriages in court, Politico notes. "I want to tell you I do support marriage equality and I do believe Arkansans should have the right to be equal in the eyes of the law," said McDaniel. However, his office also announced that he plans to challenge the decision.

"We respect the Court's decision, but, in keeping with the Attorney General's obligation to defend the state constitution, we will appeal," said spokesman Aaron Sadler. "We will request that Judge Piazza issue a stay of his ruling so as not to create confusion or uncertainty about the law while the Supreme Court considers the matter."

“Our freedoms are often acquired slowly, but our country has evolved as a beacon of liberty in what is sometimes a dark world. These freedoms include a right to privacy,” Piazza said. “It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it,” he underlined.

The case was filed in state court and the decision was handed down from the Pulaski County Circuit Court, which doesn’t have the final word on the matter. The decision can be appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Back in February, federal Judge John Heyburn overturned a law and an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution prohibiting recognition of marriages of same-sex couples performed in other states. In the judge's opinion, the state of Kentucky had offered no rational argument for differential treatment of homosexual couples.

Now, Gov. Steve Beshear argues that the ban on gay marriage should be maintained because only couples consisting of a man and a woman can procreate naturally and the state has an interest in ensuring that they do. Currently, there are 17 States with legal gay marriage and 33 States with same-sex marriage bans. Statistics show strong support for the rights of same-sex couples to wed, especially among younger people.

According to Fox 8 WGHP, the Judge Chris Piazza gay marriage ruling continues a near-unbroken string of state and federal court victories nationwide in the past year, giving marriage-equality supporters unbridled encouragement that their ultimate goal will be achieved: eliminating all laws limiting the rights of homosexuals to wed.

What's your opinion of the Judge Chris Piazza gay marriage ruling? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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