For Immediate Release
In New Legal Filings, Attorneys Call for Immediate Start of Same-Sex Marriages in Mississippi
WASHINGTON - Attorneys in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant, the lawsuit that struck down Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage, filed a motion on Friday afternoon with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to enforce the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling recognizing marriage equality. While some same-sex couples have already married today in Mississippi, the state’s attorney general has issued instructions that clerks cannot issues licenses until the stay is lifted.
"It is now time for the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell to be followed throughout this great nation. We are confident that state officials in Mississippi will honor the oath they swore to uphold the Constitution and will facilitate the marriages of gay and lesbian couples throughout Mississippi," says Roberta Kaplan, lead counsel in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant.
At 10 a.m. this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry extends to same-sex couples in all 50 states. By mid-day, same-sex couples were receiving marriage licenses at the Forrest County Circuit Clerk’s Office located in Hattiesburg; Forrest County is no longer issuing licenses however.
This afternoon, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said, “The Supreme Court’s decision is not immediately effective in Mississippi. It will become effective in Mississippi, and circuit clerks will be required to issue same-sex marriage licenses, when the 5th Circuit lifts the stay of Judge Reeves’ order.”
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The new legal filings can be downloaded here: http://www.southernequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Motion-for-Immediate-lift-of-stay-and-mandate6.pdf
“Same-sex couples in Mississippi cannot wait another day for the legal rights that they are now guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.
CSE is based in Asheville, North Carolina, and works across the South to promote full LGBT equality. Through our multi-pronged approach, we are telling a new story about LGBT lives in the South.