News (USA)

Arkansas same-sex marriage ban to hit two courts on same day

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas’ highest court will hear oral arguments in a case challenging the state’s gay marriage ban on the same day a federal judge takes up a separate case over the prohibition.

Arkansas-flagThe state Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to expedite the case and scheduled oral arguments for Nov. 20 in the state’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling against the ban.

Lawyers for the state are appealing a Pulaski County judge’s ruling in May striking down a 2004 constitutional amendment and an earlier state law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

The decision led to hundreds of gay couples being wed before the state Supreme Court suspended his ruling.

A federal judge will also hold a hearing in a separate lawsuit over the ban Nov. 20.

The state case (Pulaski County) is Wright v. Arkansas, and the federal case is Jernigan v. Crane.

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