The Arkansas Supreme Court has denied a request for an emergency stay of Judge Chris Piazza's order overturning the ban on same-sex marriage. The court also dismissed as premature an appeal of Piazza's ruling because it wasn't a final order.
Marriage equality remains the law of the land in Arkansas, but the court injected a wrinkle that will give counties cover to continue to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And that wrinkle has prompted Pulaski Clerk Larry Crane to say that, for the time being, his office likely will cease issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
The court noted that Piazza's ruling didn't mention a statute that prohibits clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. It remains in effect. Action will now shift to Piazza's court to pursue final orders, injunctive relief and a cleanup on the omitted statute.
Said Jack Wagoner, attorney for the plaintffs:
We'll fix that tomorrow and be back here again…. How can you find something unconstitutional but not affect a statute that would require the clerks to do something unconstitutional?
Justices Donald Corbin and Paul Danielson issued a separate concurrence that said they simply would have dismissed the appeal for lack of a final order and rejected the emergency stay request because the case is still before the trial court.
And I've completely lost count how many states accept gay marriage. It's really amazing when you think about the trend over the last 5 years.