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Arkansas counties issue 400 marriage licenses to same-sex couples so far

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
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A Washington County, Ark., clerk issues the first same-sex marriage license in Fayetteville, Ark., on Monday, May 12, 2014.Eva Madison, Twitter

A Washington County, Ark., clerk issues the first same-sex marriage license in Fayetteville, Ark., on Monday, May 12, 2014.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Clerks in Fayetteville and Little Rock granted marriage licenses to 117 gay couples on Tuesday, pushing the total to 400 since a judge tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Three counties — Carroll, Saline and Marion — that had issued licenses to same-sex couples either Saturday or Monday, said Tuesday they would no longer do so. Clerks said they will wait until the state Supreme Court weighs in.

To date, Pulaski County has issued 243 licenses, Washington County 122, Carroll 28, Saline six and Marion one.

On Tuesday, lawyers for a group of gay couples who challenged the ban asked the state’s highest court to let same-sex weddings continue amid a fight over the gay marriage ban, but the Arkansas Supreme Court did not issue a ruling by the end of the day.

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Justices typically issue opinions on Thursdays but occasionally stray from their regular schedule on matters they deem urgent.

A Pulaski County judge last week rejected the voter-approved ban, saying it discriminated against gay people. The attorney general’s office has asked for a stay and filed a notice of appeal.

Lawyers for gay couples who sued for the right to marry filed paperwork Tuesday challenging the stay request and also claiming that the state’s notice of appeal was filed prematurely.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Pulaski (Little Rock) and Washington (Fayetteville) counties were still issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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