Lawyers: Don’t Suspend Gay Marriage Ruling
Lawyers for gay couples asked the state’s highest court Tuesday to let same-sex weddings continue amid a fight over Arkansas’ gay marriage ban, while more than half the counties that had granted licenses to same-sex couples changed course.
A Pulaski County judge had set aside Arkansas’ voter-approved ban late Friday, setting off a run on courthouses. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel asked the state Supreme Court for a stay Monday and lawyers for couples who challenged the ban replied Tuesday.
"The public has no interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws or in relegating same-sex couples and their families to a perpetual state of financial and legal vulnerability," the attorneys argued in the brief.
The Supreme Court had asked that paperwork be completed by noon Tuesday but has not indicated when it will rule. Justices typically issue opinions on Thursdays but stray from their regular schedule on matters they deem urgent.
Meanwhile, a day after issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, clerks in Marion and Saline counties said they would wait for guidance from the state Supreme Court. Carroll County made the same decision Monday after granting 15 licenses Saturday.
Clerks in Pulaski County, which contains the capital, Little Rock, and Washington County, home to Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas, issued additional licenses to gay couples Tuesday, pushing the total to more than 300 since Friday’s ruling.