Judge Orders Arkansas To Recognize In-State Same-Sex Marriages

A same-sex couple exchanges rings after they registered their civil union at Rome's city hall on May 21, 2015 in Rome. The ci
A same-sex couple exchanges rings after they registered their civil union at Rome's city hall on May 21, 2015 in Rome. The city of Rome organized today a 'Celebration Day' to registrate civil unions including same-sex ones. Italy's Justice Minister Andrea Orlando said yesterday the country needs a civil unions law and a draft bill by ruling Democratic Party (PD) should be presented in parliament by the end of July. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

A judge said over 500 same-sex marriages that took place in Arkansas last year must be recognized by the state, according to the AP.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen validated marriage licenses that were issued to same-sex couples after another judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban, the AP reports.

The state's gay marriage ban was struck down in May 2014 by Pulaski County Judge Chris Piazza, who tossed out the state's constitutional and legislative ban on same-sex marriage, but did not rule on a law regulating the conduct of county clerks, the AP reported earlier. Some clerks in the state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the state Supreme Court issued a stay on Piazza's ruling.

Griffen was among those who officiated same-sex weddings in May 2014.

Within the next month, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on whether states are required to offer same-sex marriage licenses and recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect Griffen is not a federal judge.



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