Subscribe Register Login

Superior Industries to shutter Rogers plant, cut 500 jobs

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:51 a.m.
Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal

Judge broadens gay-marriage ruling in new order

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published May 15, 2014 at 9:44 a.m. Updated May 15, 2014 at 4:11 p.m.

couples-line-up-at-the-county-clerks-window-for-marriage-licenses-at-the-pulaski-county-courthouse-in-little-rock-on-monday-may-12-2014

Couples line up at the County Clerk's window for marriage licenses at the Pulaski County Courthouse in Little Rock on Monday, May 12, 2014.

No more changes to birth certificates after ruling

Arkansas is no longer allowing gay couples to be listed as the parents on birth certificates after the state's high court said a prohibition on same-sex marriage licenses is still in effect.

A spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Health said Thursday that it would no longer alter birth certificates for same-sex couples who sought to both be listed as parents after a judge voided the state's gay-marriage ban. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's ruling, but noted that his decision didn't affect another law barring clerks from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

Kerry Krell said the department had changed birth certificates for 22 same-sex couples.

— The Associated Press

UPDATE

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza has declared unconstitutional a law that the state Supreme Court said Wednesday still prevented county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In Pulaski County, the clerk's office was ready to offer same-sex marriage licenses minutes after the ruling was issued, county clerk Larry Crane said.

By 3 p.m., three same-sex couples had received marriage licenses at the Pulaski County courthouse.

Piazza on Friday issued a ruling that declared Arkansas' bans on same-sex unions unconstitutional, but it didn't mention one law that still barred clerks from issuing the licenses.

The Supreme Court said that omission meant clerks could not issue the licenses and same-sex marriages that had been granted in several counties came to a halt Thursday.

In a ruling issued Thursday afternoon, Piazza invalidated the law omitted from his earlier ruling, the 2004 constitutional amendment that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman and "all other state and local laws and regulations identified in plaintiff's complaint or otherwise in existence to the extent they do not recognize same-sex marriages ...."

He also denied a state request that he stay his order pending appeal and said it was a final judgment. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a state appeal of the first ruling because it was not final.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office again filed a petition for an emergency stay of Piazza's ruling with the state Supreme Court soon after the new order was handed down Thursday.

Several counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the original ruling Friday, though some later reversed course and stopped, citing a lack of clarity in the law.

The Supreme Court said there should be no confusion since Piazza didn't address the law that prevents clerks from issuing same-sex licenses and that it still applies.

Pulaski and Washington counties were the only ones continuing to issue licenses Wednesday, but both ceased offering them Thursday after the Supreme Court opinion.

Crane, the Pulaski County clerk, said his office was prepared to again offer same-sex marriage licenses about 1:45 p.m., shortly after Piazza's new order came down.

Several such couples had sought marriage licenses earlier in the day and were turned away, he said.

Crane noted the new order is retroactive, so the validity of the marriages of several hundred same-sex couples who married in Arkansas this week is not threatened.

"I know that it's going to make a lot of people happy," he said of Piazza's ruling.

Washington County Attorney George Butler also said he expects the county to resume issuing same-sex marriage licenses Friday morning.

Officials from other counties that had earlier issued same-sex marriage licenses said Thursday they were not offering them early Thursday afternoon.

Officials who answered the phone at the Carroll and Marion clerk's offices said they were not issuing the licenses and were not aware of having received Piazza's new order. In Saline County, officials said clerk Doug Curtis was meeting with an attorney about the order.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.

EARLIER

The plaintiffs whose lawsuit resulted in Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruling Arkansas' ban on gay marriage unconstitutional have asked him to clarify the order to show it pertains to all laws that prevent same-sex unions.

The motion came Thursday morning, a day after the state Supreme Court said Piazza's ruling last week didn't affect a state law that prevents county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In a response to the filing later Thursday, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office asked that Piazza stay, or freeze, his Friday ruling and any clarified order he may issue.

Several counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the ruling, though some later reversed course and stopped, citing a lack of clarity in the law.

The Supreme Court said there should be no confusion since Piazza didn't address one law that prevents clerks from issuing same-sex licenses and that it still applies.

Pulaski and Washington counties were the only ones continuing to issue licenses Wednesday, but both ceased offering them Thursday after the Supreme Court opinion.

The motion from attorneys Cheryl Maples and Jack Wagoner said it was evident Piazza's order was intended to be applied to all Arkansas laws that prevent same-sex couples from marrying.

But the attorneys said that because the high court noted the law that wasn't mentioned in the original ruling, Piazza should clarify his order to show he ruled unconstitutional the 2004 constitutional amendment that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman as well as "all other Arkansas laws that prevent same-sex couples from marrying or from having their lawful marriages recognized."

A clerk for Piazza said Thursday that she didn't know when Piazza might issue a response.

In the response from the attorney general's office asking Piazza for a stay, Assistant Attorney General Colin Jorgensen wrote that issuing one would prevent confusion.

"Only the Arkansas Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court can decide the constitutionality of Arkansas’s marriage laws in a way that commands the respect, allegiance, and compliance of the entire State – and until the Arkansas Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court provides that decision, any lower court ruling is subject to reversal," he wrote.

Jorgensen wrote that the state agrees there should be a clarified order or "a separate order that addresses all of the claims in this case, and is therefore final and appealable." The state Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to issue a stay of Piazza's ruling and dismissed the state's appeal, noting it wasn't Piazza's final ruling.

Several hundred same-sex couples have married in Arkansas since the ruling, though the Supreme Court opinion raises questions about whether those marriages will stand.

Comments on: Judge broadens gay-marriage ruling in new order

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

Subscribe Register Login

You must login to make comments.

Displaying 31 - 40 of 56 total comments

Jump to last page >>

Hogdude says... May 15, 2014 at 8:02 p.m.

Wow. Two choices: stay from J. Piazza or from Ark. S. Ct. These issues are hard to understand for lawyers who advise clients and impossible for those who want to marry. The issues need to be argued and decided by the Super Court (Ark S. Ct.)

( | suggest removal )

edo1962 says... May 15, 2014 at 9:20 p.m.

This Judge needs to go. The will of the people of this state should not be ignored, over a few hundred people. This is very sad.

( | suggest removal )

RBBrittain says... May 15, 2014 at 9:37 p.m.

@Hogdude: Judge Piazza denied all motions for a stay. With the case now back on appeal to the state Supreme Court, only that court can issue a stay for now; though they denied a stay yesterday, it was for technicalities Judge Piazza has now fixed. If that's denied, they could go for a U.S. Supreme Court stay; it's unclear if they would have jurisdiction at this point, but *IF* they do odds are they'd grant the stay.
.
@edo1962: Even 75% of the people can NOT be allowed to take away ANYONE's civil rights; that's why judges can strike down illegal laws. And in cases like this, the Supreme Courts (state and possibly Federal) always have the last word.

( | suggest removal )

edo1962 says... May 15, 2014 at 9:38 p.m.

God ruled on this long ago. That is all that matters.

( | suggest removal )

djigoo says... May 15, 2014 at 9:47 p.m.

edo1962, God also said shaving is a greivous sin.

How long is your beard?

What?

You don't wear a beard?

Uh oh. You shall surely burn in Hell.

( | suggest removal )

Dondi says... May 15, 2014 at 9:54 p.m.

Judge Piazza, was only doing his job.

( | suggest removal )

GrimReaper says... May 15, 2014 at 10:03 p.m.

Amen! edo1962. Let these mortals beguile themselves while they may.

( | suggest removal )

djigoo says... May 15, 2014 at 10:51 p.m.

Oh, Raper...you're almost cute when you're spreading lies about your brethren.

Almost.

( | suggest removal )

ajsfishhouse_verizon.net says... May 15, 2014 at 11:53 p.m.

Populist, Thank you for enlightening the people from Arkansas who are living in the dark ages. Kudos to Judge Piazza for having some guts. To all the haters of gay and lesbians, watch out, your child may announce their preference tomorrow.

( | suggest removal )

ThinkFree says... May 16, 2014 at 8 a.m.

Goo - you're talking Old testament. There's a new one. Maybe you haven't heard of it yet...

( | suggest removal )

Click here to make a comment

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

TOP JOBS

  • Shop person

    sheet metal shop needs exp’d. Shop person able to do lay out...
    PEARCY, AR

  • Laborers

    top pay Concrete Finishers Form Carpenters Apply in person ...
    Little Rock, AR

  • Stemteacher

    uca stemteach seeks a master teacher with background in math...
    CONWAY, AR

  • Outside sales

    outside sales:Local siding and window company Looking for ou...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • Agriculture

    agriculturemark & Charlynn Liuzza Farms, LLC, Independence, ...
    HAMMOND, LA

Search 951 jobs >

Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal
Arkansas Online