LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Supreme Court has issued a stay (see attached
) of a May 15 lower court order that clarified a May 9 order from the same court that lifted the state's ban on same sex marriage.
That means the issuing of marriage licenses for same sex couples is now on hold until the justices can fully consider the case.
The high court will now decide how the state proceeds with the granting of marriage licenses for same sex couples.
After the May 9 order came down, five counties (Carroll, Marion, Pulaski, Saline, and Washington) began issuing marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples.
By Tuesday, that number dwindled to two, Pulaski and Washington, and the next day only to one (Pulaski). However, today, Conway County started issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.
Since Saturday, hundreds of same sex couples have been granted the licenses and have held wedding ceremonies.
The granting of the stay does not invalidate any of the marriage licenses issued since the May 9 ruling.
The Arkansas Attorney General's Office released the following statement after the stay was issued:
"As this office stated in its pleadings, a stay prevents confusion and uncertainty until the Arkansas Supreme Court decides this matter on appeal. The Court today made the right decision to issue a stay, as other courts across the country have done in similar circumstances," says AG Press Secretary Aaron Sadler.