Federal judge who struck down Arkansas gay marriage ban won't lift stay pending state's appeal

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A federal judge says she won't allow same-sex marriages in Arkansas while the issue is pending before an appeals court.

Lawyers claim gay couples are suffering continuing harm by not being allowed to marry. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker struck down Arkansas' ban against same-sex marriages in November but issued a stay pending an appeal. The same-sex couples asked Baker to lift the stay, but the judge said Wednesday court rules won't let her.

In a brief order, Baker said lifting the stay could change the status quo while the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers Arkansas' appeal. She also said that, even without the prohibition, she would keep the stay in place because the 8th Circuit refused to vacate a stay in a similar case from Missouri.

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