LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday voted to urge the Arkansas Supreme Court to overturn a circuit judge’s ruling striking down Arkansas’ same-sex marriage ban.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday voted to urge the Arkansas Supreme Court to overturn a circuit judge’s ruling striking down Arkansas’ same-sex marriage ban.

The non-binding resolution by Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, had 59 of the 135 members of the Arkansas Legislature as co-sponsors. Legislators adopted it in a voice vote with only a few "no" votes heard.

Rapert previously presented the resolution in a May 16 meeting of the council. At that time the resolution was defeated in a procedural vote; Rapert has lodged a complaint over that vote.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled May 9 that Arkansas’ same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court stayed the order pending an appeal by the state attorney general’s office, but not until after more than 560 marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples in the state.

"The fact of the matter is Judge Piazza went farther than the Supreme Court did," Rapert told the council Friday, referring to a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The court did not say in that ruling whether states could ban same-sex marriage.

The resolution states that Arkansas’ 2004 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, Amendment 83, was passed by voters with a 75 percent majority, and that "Piazza’s decision disregards the clear wishes of the state’s electorate when approving Amendment 83."

"I can’t imagine any branch of our government coming against 75 percent of the electorate that spoke in our state on this issue," Rapert told the council.

Speaking against the resolution, Sen. David Johnson, D-Little Rock, said that in its DOMA ruling the U.S. Supreme Court said prohibiting same-sex marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. He said that ruling has since been relied upon in numerous lower-court rulings striking down state bans against same-sex marriage.

"It’s not like all these judges are just going off the rails and doing whatever they want to do. They’re not doing that. They’re reading the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court last year," he said.

Rep. Terry Rice, R-Waldron, a co-sponsor of the resolution, said he was concerned that Piazza did not stay his ruling, leaving it in effect until the state Supreme Court issued a stay a week later. Rice said Piazza’s decision not to issue a stay "caused conflict and confusion" and put people in "limbo."

Rep. John Walker, D-Little Rock, spoke against the resolution, saying the will of the people is not absolute.

"There was a time when the will of the people dictated that women could not vote or hold political office. There was a time when slavery was required," he said.

The resolution states that "Judge Piazza’s resolution is in direct contradiction to his oath to uphold the Arkansas Constitution" and that the Legislative Council "shall explore legislative remedies to prevent the Arkansas Constitution and the will of the people of this state from being negated by judicial activism which violates the separation of powers ensured in our form of government."

Rapert told reporters he expected Friday’s action to be followed by an effort to create a system of judicial recall in Arkansas. Work has already begun on developing a citizens’ initiative to allow judges to be recalled, he said.

Jack Wagoner, attorney for several same-sex couples who challenged Arkansas’ same-sex marriage ban, said Friday the council’s action "shows a misunderstanding of the whole concept of separation of powers."

"The judicial branch decides if the actions of the electorate or the legislature or the executive branch are constitutional or not," he said. "The fact that the voters passed something does not say anything as far as its constitutionality. This should have zero relevance to (the state Supreme Court’s) decision."

Jerry Cox, president of the Christian conservative Family Council, which led the push for Amendment 83, attended Friday’s hearing and said afterward, "I think it’s important that the Legislature affirm the will of the people."

Cox said he believes the state Supreme Court "will look at this very carefully."

Activist Drew Pritt of Little Rock, who also attended the hearing, said he was disappointed by the council’s action. He said a majority of Arkansans once supported segregated schools, but eventually the state got "on the right side of history."

"This is a chance now for Arkansas once more to come down on the right side of history, to come down on the right side of justice and to come down on a sense of equality," Pritt said.