Arkansas judge: I will rule on same-sex marriage ban within fortnight

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An Arkansas judge has said he will issue a ruling on a same-sex marriage ban within the next two weeks.

On Thursday, Circuit Judge Chris Piazza heard a case brought by a large number of gay and lesbian couples, which is attempting to declare the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

The judge said he would not leave the couples waiting too long for a ruling, and pledged to deliver a verdict within two weeks.

According to the Arkansas News, Piazza said: “I’ve already got an idea where I’m going, but I’m still drifting.”

Thursday’s hearing, including motions for summary judgement, was over three hours long.

Attorney Jack Wagoner noted during the hearing that since the US Supreme Court struck down the Defence of Marriage Act last year, 18 federal and state court decisions have addressed equality based on sexual orientation, and all of them ruled in favour of same-sex couples.

He said: “I love coming to court when the facts are all on my side.”

Amendment 83 to the state’s constitution, which defines marriage as a heterosexual union, was approved by voters in Arkansas in 2004.

The state’s attorneys argued in the hearing that maintaining the ban preserves the state’s interests, as it allows them to regulate marriage.