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Arkansas Trial Judge Clarifies Order To Allow Same-Sex Marriages To Resume

The judge also denied the state's request for a stay of his order. The state is appealing the decisions to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

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AP Photo/Sarah Bentham

Jennifer Rambo, right, of Fort Smith, Ark., kisses her partner Kristin Seaton, left, of Jacksonville, Ark., following their marriage ceremony in front of the Carroll County Courthouse on Saturday, May 10, 2014, in Eureka Springs, Ark.

WASHINGTON — A circuit judge in Arkansas has clarified his prior order striking down the state's ban on same-sex couples' marriages to ensure that clerks are not barred from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The order is entered "nunc pro tunc," as requested by the plaintiff same-sex couples challenging the ban in order to protect the rights of those same-sex couples married in the state since Circuit Court Judge Christopher Piazza issued his initial ruling on May 9.

"This final order is entered to reflect the original intent of the Court's May 9, 20l4 Order and to clarify and protect the rights and interests of all who reasonably relied upon and/or acted in accordance with the letter, sprit and/or intent of this Court's May 9,2014 Order and to further serve the interest of justice in this matter," Piazza wrote Thursday.

Piazza also denied the state's request for a stay of his order, writing, "There is no evidence that Defendants, the State or its citizens were harmed by the entry of the Court's original order or that they will be harmed by the clarifications contained" in Thursday's order.

Additionally, Piazza issued a final order in the case Thursday, allowing the state to appeal his decision — a procedural quirk that had led the state's Supreme Court to dismiss the state's initial appeal on Wednesday evening.

The state already has filed its notice of appeal with Piazza's court, stating, "The State hereby appeals to the Arkansas Supreme Court ...."

Read the final, clarified order:

Read the stay denial:

Chris Geidner is a Supreme Court correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Chris Geidner at

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