Marriage Equality Resumes in Arkansas

Gay couples in Arkansas can resume jumping the broom. The state judge Chris Piazza amended his earlier ruling to eliminate all relevant state laws that limited marriage licenses to heterosexual couples. His ruling opens the door for the state's 75 counties to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

According to The Advocate, "Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling denied a request for a stay filed by the state but noted that Piazza's ruling didn't address one clause of state law that forbade county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. When that decision came down Wednesday afternoon, attorneys for the plaintiffs — 11 same-sex couples — vowed to petition the trial judge for an updated ruling that struck all state laws restricting the freedom to marry."

Attorneys for the couples did, and Piazza clarified his ruling to county clerks who'd refused to give licenses to same-sex couples, saying there was no harm done to the state by allowing them to wed.

"The same cannot be said of the plaintiffs and other same-sex couples who have not been afforded the same measure of human dignity, respect and recognition by this state as their similarly situated, opposite sex counterparts," Piazza wrote today. "A stay would operate to further damage Arkansas families and deprive them of equal access to the rights associated with marriage status in this state."

Arkansas attorney general Dustin McDaneil, who, if you remember, supports marriage equality but said he wouldn't do diddly squat to help achieve it (or something to that effect:), has already filed notice of his intent to appeal.