Arkansas gay marriage fight hits a snag

Arkansas' Supreme Court suspended a judge's ruling striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban on Friday, halting the issuance of licences to same-sex couples while it's being challenged in court.

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The state's high court granted a request to suspend Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's decision voiding a 2004 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, according to the Associated Press. Piazza struck down the ban last week, but expanded that ruling on Thursday to include all state laws preventing gay couples from marrying.

More than 450 same-sex couples received marriage licenses since Piazza's ruling last week.

Across the nation, same-sex marriage is legal in 17 other states and the District of Columbia. Bans have been struck down in Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia.