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A judge struck down Arkansas's same-sex marriage ban

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images News

An Arkansas judge late Friday struck down the state's constitutional and legislative bans on same-sex marriage.

Judge Chris Piazza relied on a handful of different precedents in his ruling. He cited the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution and the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that dismantled the federal ban on same-sex marriages. Piazza also drew on Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court struck down bans on interracial relationships.

"It has been over forty years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice," Piazza wrote. "The hatred and fears have long since vanished and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples. It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it."

Although Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he personally supports same-sex marriage, his office told USA Today it will defend the ban in court and ask Piazza to put his ruling on hold until it works through the appeals process.

If the judge doesn't stay his ruling, same-sex couples could flood marriage license bureaus Saturday and particularly Monday to get married.

In other same-sex marriage cases, however, judges have put their rulings on hold until higher courts can make a final decision on the issue.

Update: Added that some marriage license bureaus are open Saturday, per an Associated Press report.

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