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Arkansas justices reject new arguments in gay marriage case, reject call for immediate stay

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The Arkansas Supreme Court says it won't hear new arguments over whether to legalize gay marriage, but will leave a ban in place until it rules.

In unsigned orders Thursday, justices refused to lift a year-old stay. They also won't hear new arguments even though two of its seven members joined the court this year.

A Pulaski County judge rejected the gay-marriage ban last year and until a stay was issued, more than 500 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses. State lawyers appealed and justices heard oral arguments last November. Since that court hearing, two new justices have joined the court.

Separately, a federal judge rejected the ban last December. A federal appeals court has delayed action in that case until the U.S. Supreme Court resolves a separate case this summer.

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