Federal Judge Kristine Baker today denied a request by the plaintiffs to lift her stay of an order invalidating the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage.

Despite the plea that plaintiffs were damaged by continuing denial of constitutional rights, Baker said she would maintain the status quo until the appeal of the order is decided by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Briefing is underway in that case. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on similar cases from other states by June. The Arkansas Supreme Court completed a state challenge in a separate case Nov. 20, but has not ruled and seems intent on avoiding a ruling before the U.S. Supreme Court is heard from.

She noted that the 8th Circuit had refused to lift a stay on a similar case in Missouri.


She said it was a close question of whether she retained jurisdiction since the appeal was filed, but was guided by the 8th Circuit’s recent decision not to vacate the Missouri stay. She said the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to impose a stay elsewhere “does not compel this Court to vacate the stay in this case.”

The state had argued to keep the stay in place.