US: Arkansas Supreme Court puts same-sex marriage ban back in place

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Arkansas’ Supreme Court has suspended a decision striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, putting it back in place despite hundreds of couples already having married.

Judge Chris Piazza originally struck down the state’s constitutional same-sex marriage ban last Friday, and on Saturday a lesbian couple became the first to marry, when Pulaski County decided to begin marrying couples.

The state’s Supreme Court had on Wednesday halted marriages again when it highlighted a secondary ban, but on Thursday Piazza struck that down too, allowing marriages to resume.

The court has now suspended his ruling, meaning the ban will be put back in place and marriages stopped until the conclusion of the appeals process.

The state’s Attorney General Dustin McDaniel had asked for the ruling to be stayed, claiming it could cause “confusion” if marriages were allowed to continue.

According to Associated Press, more than 450 same-sex couples received marriage licenses since Piazza’s ruling last week, causing uncertainty as to whether they are now recognised.

Same-sex couples in Utah and Michigan have previously been left in similar situations, after courts put marriage bans back into place after they had already married.

In January, the US Attorney General confirmed that the Utahn couples will be federally treated as married, and announced the same for Michigan in March.