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Judge strikes down all Arkansas laws banning gay marriage, won't put ruling on hold

ANDREW DeMILLO and CHRISTINA HUYNH, Associated Press • May 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas judge says he will strike down a state law barring clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, expanding his ruling against the state's ban on gay marriage.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza told attorneys in a letter that he'll issue an order Thursday declaring the law banning same-sex marriage licenses as unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay Piazza's ruling that the gay marriage ban was unconstitutional, but noted the prohibition on gay marriage licenses still stood.

That court's ruling effectively halted gay marriages in the state, with the two counties that had been issuing licenses to same-sex couples saying they'd stop.

Piazza last week struck down the 2004 constitutional amendment and 1997 law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

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