Update: Federal Judge in LR Stands by Stay in Same-Sex Marriage Case

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Update (March 4):
LITTLE ROCK, AR – A federal judge with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas has denied a request to lift her Nov. 25 stay of an order invalidating the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Judge Kristine Baker issued the order today, denying a request by the plaintiffs in the case.

In the 4-page order, Baker said she would maintain the status quo “pending the final disposition of any appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.”

See Judge Baker’s order attached above or click here to read. 

The same-sex marriage issue is also pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on similar cases from other states within the next few months. 

The Arkansas Supreme Court completed a state challenge in a separate case on Nov. 20, but has not yet made a ruling.Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement after U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker issued an order denying the plaintiffs’ request to lift the stay of her ruling in the challenge to Amendment 83:
“As the State prepares to defend Amendment 83 to the Arkansas Constitution and Arkansas’s marriage statutes before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in May, I am pleased that Judge Baker has denied the request to lift the stay. As the State argued in its response to the plaintiffs’ motion, unnecessary confusion, uncertainty and additional litigation would have resulted had Judge Baker lifted her stay while this case is pending before the Eighth Circuit. As the appeal moves forward, I will continue to vigorously defend the constitutionality of Arkansas’s marriage laws.”   

Original story (Nov. 25, 2014):
LITTLE ROCK, AR – A federal judge struck down Amendment 83 of the Arkansas constitution, saying it violates same-sex couples right to equal protection under the federal constitution.

The 45-page ruling issued by U.S. district judge Kristine Baker says that “Amendment 83 of the Arkansas Constitution and annotated code are restrictions based on gender and that the arguments advanced by Separate Defendants in support of such laws do not survive intermediate scrutiny, meaning these laws impose unconstitutional classifications on the basis of gender in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

Baker also held enforcement of the ruling until a final decision is made by the 8th circuit court of appeals in St. Louis.

“The Court stays execution of the injunction pending the final disposition of any timely appeal to the Eighth Case Circuit Court of Appeals or until the time for filing a notice of appeal expires,” the ruling reads.

The complete ruling is attached to this story above or click here to read.

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