Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Ban On Gay Marriage
A judge in Arkansas has struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, a move that clears the way for gay couples to wed.
Here's the judge's order, via Chris Johnson, chief political and White House reporter for the Washington Blade.
The Associated Press reports that Pulaski County Circuit Judge Christopher Piazza said that the state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman violates the constitution.
Last week, state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who says he supports gay marriage rights, announced he would defend the constitutional ban in court. His office is expected to appeal Friday's ruling to the state Supreme Court.
Friday's decision makes Arkansas the latest state in which judges have struck down bans on gay marriage. Judges in Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia have struck down their state's bans, while those in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee have ordered the states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.
Those decisions follow a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that said a law barring the federal government from recognizing gay marriages was unconstitutional.