Judge says he will strike gay marriage license ban

Associated Press
FILE - In this May 10, 2014 file photo, Kristin Seaton, center, of Jacksonville, Ark., holds up her marriage license as she leaves the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs, Ark., with her partner, Jennifer Rambo, left, of Fort Smith, Ark., in Eureka Springs, Ark. The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected the state attorney general's request for a stay of a judge's ruling that overturned Arkansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham, file)
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FILE - In this May 10, 2014 file photo, Kristin Seaton, center, of Jacksonville, Ark., holds up her marriage license as she leaves the Carroll County Courthouse in Eureka Springs, Ark., with her partner, Jennifer Rambo, left, of Fort Smith, Ark., in Eureka Springs, Ark. The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected the state attorney general's request for a stay of a judge's ruling that overturned Arkansas' constitutional ban on gay marriage, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham, file)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — 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.

The court 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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