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Arkansas will appeal judge's gay marriage ruling

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel backs marriage equality but plans to appeal a judge's decision allowing gay marriage in the US southern state
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel
State of Arkansas, Arkansas Attorney General Office

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced he will appeal a judge's decision striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

According to the Associated Press, the state's top lawyer made the statement late last night (10 May).

On 9 May, Second Division Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled against the state's 10-year-old marriage equality probation. He wrote, in part, that 'tradition alone cannot form a rational basis for a law.'

Judge Piazza did not put a stay on his decision, so yesterday (10 May) LGBTI couples went to court houses that were open.

Kristin Seaton and Jennifer Rambo were the first same-sex couple to get married in the US southern state. The couple's witness was attorney Cheryl Maples, who filed a suit against Arkansas for its marriage equality ban.

McDaniel would like the judge to suspend the ruling as the state Supreme Court hears the appeal.

Approximately a week ago the attorney general announced, while he supported marriage rights for LGBTI families, he would still defend the state law in court.

Anti-same-sex marriage advocates claim the judge's decision has caused confusion.

'Are these people married? Are they unmarried.' Jerry Cox, president of the Arkansas Family Council, wondered to the Associated Press. 'Judge Piazza did a tremendous disservice to the people of Arkansas by leaving this in limbo.'

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