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Same-sex marriages begin in Arkansas but AG wants Supreme Court opinion

After business hours of Friday afternoon, a judge in Arkansas struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage. Come Monday, people began lining up to become the first receipts of a same-sex marriage certificates in the state. However, as the happy unions begin, the Attorney General is looking to get the ruling that allows residents to do so overturned.

Same-sex marriage licenses are being issued today in Arkansas.
(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

On Monday, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to stay the ruling made by Judge Chris Piazza. According to the Associated Press, McDaniel has stated that he supports gay marriage. However, for the state of Arkansas, he has vowed to uphold the ban.

As licenses were being issued, the head of the Human Rights Campaign said that his organization will now seek recognition on the federal level for couples married in Arkansas. The very first couple to receive a license in Little Rock, Ark., went to a couple actually living in Dallas, but who met at Southern Arkansas University in 1985.

After McDaniel requested that Judge Piazza issue a stay and the judge did not oblige, it came down to the 75 county clerks to ultimately decide whether they would or would not issue licenses to same-sex couples. In several cases, Arkansas counties have refused to issue the licenses, saying they need further guidance from the state’s highest court.

Judge Piazza made the decision in the Third Division Circuit Court of Pulaski County. A Faulkner County civil attorney noted that this kind of decision must be made only by the state’s Supreme Court.

Now, as they have in so many other states, many marriages may hang in the balance while the state courts decide whether or not they will lift the ban and recognize same-sex marriages.

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