The Arkansas Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages taking place in the state on Friday, once again prohibiting gay couples from wedding in the state — and for the indefinite future.
In a one-sentence decision issued from the court on Friday, the court writes that stays on marriage equality “are granted” pending appeal of the lawsuit that brought it to Arkansas. One stay was requested by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, another was filed by White, Washington, Lonoke and Conway counties.
The fate of same-sex marriage in Arkansas could be in limbo for many months. According to the Arkansas Times, the case will now goes through the appeal process, and it’s uncertain whether that will be completed before the end of the year. A decision in the case could conceivably be reached by the fall.
The case, Wright v. Arkansas, was a state lawsuit filed last year on behalf of 20 same-sex couples either seeking to marry in Arkansas or seeking to have their marriages recognized by the state. Last week, Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down the state’s marriage ban, which enabled hundreds of same-sex couples to wed in Arkansas. However, the state appealed the decision and requested a stay.
In related marriage equality news before the courts on Friday:
UTAH — The Utah Supreme Court on Friday issued a stay of several district court judges’ orders to the Utah Department of Health requiring the agency to issue of birth certificates in the cases of same-sex parent adoptions. The stay was granted in response to a request from Utah Attorney General Sean Heyes, who argued it was necessary to ascertain legal certainty about whether district court orders violate other aspects of current Utah law. The stay will remain in effect until the issue has been fully briefed and resolved by the court.
OREGON — U.S. District Judge Michael McShane announced that he will issue a ruling on the constitutionality of Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage Monday at noon Pacific Time (3 pm Eastern Time). Meanwhile, the National Organization for Marriage appealed McShane’s refusal to allow the anti-gay group to intervene in the case to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.