Arkansas wants stay of gay marriage ruling

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The Arkansas attorney general on Monday asked the state Supreme Court for an immediate stay on a decision last week that overturned the state's ban on gay marriage. 

State Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has already said he would appeal the decision by Pulaski County Judge Christopher Piazza, who ruled the state’s ban violated the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. 

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A number of country clerk's offices in Arkansas began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Saturday because the judge did not issue a stay. Others have refused to do so. 

It is likely the stay will be granted, as every other state request for a stay has been granted.

The decision last week was just the latest in a number of similar rulings around the country. Many judges have begun issuing stays along with their decisions due to the confusion caused after the ruling.

"To date, all of the marriage decisions by trial courts over the last year have been placed under stay, and remain stayed at this time," according to a brief signed by assistant Arkansas Attorney General Colin Jorgensen. 

The state attorney general’s office has also requested a stay from the circuit court but had not yet received an answer. 

Other decisions in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia Texas and Michigan have all struck down gay marriage bans but those have not gone into effect, pending appeal. 

The U.S. Supreme Court in January stayed Utah's decision pending an appeal by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

McDaniel, a Democrat, has recently come out in favor of gay marriage. However, he has vowed to "zealously" defend the state's constitution.

The case involved 12 same-sex couples that wished to marry in the state, as well as eight couples married in other states that wanted Arkansas to recognize them as legitimate. With the ruling, the judge invalidated a 1997 law and a 2004 constitutional amendment that was approved by referendum.