(USA TODAY) A day after being overruled by the Arkansas Supreme Court, the county judge who struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage issued a broader decision Thursday that clears the way — at least temporarily — for such unions to resume.
In Idaho, a federal appeals court stepped in to halt same-sex marriage, which was to begin Friday. Tuesday, a U.S. judge declared the state's ban unconstitutional.
In Arkansas, the attorney general said he would appeal Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's ruling, which voids a constitutional ban on clerks issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Wednesday, the state's top court said his decision Friday striking down constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage did not affect the licensing law.
Piazza refused to suspend his earlier decision, saying same-sex marriages would not harm the state.
"A stay would operate to further damage Arkansas families and deprive them of equal access to the rights associated with marriage status in this state," he wrote.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat who supports gay marriage but is defending the state's law, will ask the high court to suspend Piazza's latest order.
Pulaski County planned to resume issuing licenses to same-sex couples immediately. Washington County, the only other jurisdiction that had issued licences before the Supreme Court's intervention, did not follow suit Thursday.
Out west, the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals suspended a federal judge's order declaring Idaho's 2006 voter-approved ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.
"I appreciate the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stepping in to ensure Idaho will not have to endure the same kind of chaos and confusion that Utah faced after a similar lower-court decision," Gov. Butch Otter said in a statement. "Today's ruling stays the federal magistrate's order and maintains the status of marriage as defined by the Idaho Constitution – between one man and one woman."
Same-sex marriage is legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia
Contributing: Associated Press