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Arkansas judge strikes down gay marriage ban

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ANDREW DEMILLO | May 9, 2014 06:00 PM EST | AP


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge has struck down the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled Friday that the 2004 amendment violates the rights of same-sex couples by defining marriage as allowable only between a man and a woman.

The ruling comes nearly a week after state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced he personally supports gay marriage rights but that he will continue to defend the constitutional ban in court.

McDaniel's office is expected to quickly appeal Piazza's ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

The 2004 amendment was passed with the overwhelming support of Arkansas voters.