Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Tuesday he would file a notice of appeal with the 8th U.S. Supreme Court of Appeals in St. Louis.
U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled last month that a voter-approved gay-marriage ban and a separate state law are unconstitutional.
A decision in a similar case before the Arkansas Supreme Court is pending. McDaniel says he had hoped justices would have decided the case by now, but that he had to proceed because of a Friday deadline to appeal the federal case.
McDaniel has said he supports legalizing same-sex marriage but is obligated to defend the state constitution.
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