More Same-Sex Marriage Certificates Expected to be Issued Monday

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Following last week's opinion from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza striking down a 2004 amendment to the state's constitution banning same-sex marriage, some county clerks are expected to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday morning.

Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane has already said his office will be ready to issue certificates when doors open Monday at 8 a.m. His office had arranged for a software update allowing gender-neutral marriage licenses.

During a conference call on Saturday, clerks in other counties expressed concern over only having certificates with blanks for "bride" and "groom." Clerks noted the certificates might not hold up in court without proper documentation.

Gender neutral certificates or not, it remains to be seen whether counties and clerks will comply with Judge Piazza's ruling Monday or if they feel they're legally in a position to do so.  Some clerks have gone on record as stating they don't plan to comply with the ruling unless ordered to do so.

On Saturday, the Carroll County Clerk's office issued more than a dozen marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The office in Eureka Springs is regularly open on Saturdays for a few hours. This marked the first time same-sex couples legally married in Arkansas.

At some point Monday morning, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will ask the courts to stay Judge Piazza's ruling. If granted, the stay would halt the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses until the state's high court has a chance to hear the issue.  It's unclear whether licenses already issued would be null and void.

The Arkansas Times reports marriage equality advocates will hold a rally at the Pulaski County Courthouse at 7 a.m. Monday. The head of the Human Rights Campaign and Arkansas native Chad Griffin is expected to be in attendance.

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