Arkansas would buck national trend if marriage amendment stands

LITTLE ROCK If the current court challenge to Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriage fails, the state will the first to buck a national trend that has seen similar laws struck down in state after state over the past 10 months.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza said Thursday he will issue a ruling within two weeks in a lawsuit filed by same-sex couples who claim Amendment 83 to the Arkansas Constitution violates rights guaranteed under both the state and federal constitutions. The amendment, which voters approved in 2004, defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Piazza is not bound by court rulings in other states, but he has a slew of them available to consider in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last June in U.S. v. Windsor.

Click here for more on this story from the Arkansas News Bureau.