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Five same-sex couples apply for marriage licenses in Mississippi

Marriage equality

In Mississippi, five same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses on Tuesday, despite the fact that Mississippi has a constitutional ban. The Campaign for Southern Equality led the protest:

However, waving signs saying “We do,” the crowd on Tuesday joined hands for a prayer led by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of LGBT rights group Southern Equality. Then, the couples filed through metal detectors and into the courthouse.

Once inside, the five couples lined up to apply for their licenses two-by-two at the office of the county clerk. The clerk noted that the forms did not have blanks for two males and females, and asked instead which person would like to appear first on the marriage license.

The couples paid their fees and signed their receipts, then walked back out into the early spring sunshine.

“We hope to return soon,” one person told the Free Press. “Our love is not going to change.”

“We gather together to resist laws that we believe to be immoral and also unconstitutional,” said Beach-Ferrara.

The couples were allowed to have official copies of their receipts, though they’ll be turned down for licenses. Mississippi is one of the last remaining states with no lawsuit challenging the state’s same-sex marriage ban. A same-sex couple’s divorce was denied by a state judge in 2013 because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

28 Comments

  • 1. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  March 27, 2014 at 8:37 am

    […] USA, Mississippi: Five same sex couples applied for marriage licenses in the state this week. full story […]

  • 2. Richard Weatherwax  |  March 27, 2014 at 9:49 am

    One by one state bans on marriage equality are being challenged. Overwhelmingly the verdicts are coming out in favor of equality. Eventually, SCOTUS, the public, and politicians will see the picture. But how long will that take?

  • 3. Ragavendran  |  March 27, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Yup, that's the million dollar question! By the way, your comment sounds like a blurb for an exciting new TV drama or murder mystery. Imagine reading it out like one of those deep-voice guys do in ads for Scandal, Castle, Resurrection, etc. End it with: "Tune in this Fall to find out!"

  • 4. sfbob  |  March 27, 2014 at 10:12 am

    At some point I suspect we'll see books and movies on the fight for marriage equality.

  • 5. Pat  |  March 27, 2014 at 10:13 am

    They let them apply for a license and pay the fee even though they actually wont get it?
    Normally, in other states, werent couples simply denied altogether?

  • 6. Ragavendran  |  March 27, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Maybe the license application fee is "nonrefundable"? If so, since they didn't deny them their license right away, they get to make money and humiliate them later when they "decide" not to grant their license. Two nasty, dirty birds; one lowly, pathetic stone. Plus, I guess now the receipts serve as proof that they did apply (and will be denied), so they can avoid subtle standing issues that have crept up in at least one other case. (I forget which, there are so many now!)

  • 7. Michelle Evans  |  March 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Yes, the application is the first step in being able to file a lawsuit. Without being denied anything (if they didn't apply) then they would not have a lawsuit to begin with. Now that hurdle is passed and these five couples have stood up and been willing to have their names and faces put forth as the ones to officially challenge marriage bans in their state. Go for it!!

  • 8. Randolph Finder  |  March 27, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I think Georgia, North Dakota and South Dakota are all that are left. Sort of surprised at Georgia. As for the Dakotas, there may actually be a problem finding people…

  • 9. RCChicago  |  March 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I don't believe that there are lawsuits regarding denial of marriage equality in Nebraska and Kansas. But I think just a month or so ago, a lawsuit had been filed challenging the ban in Missouri.

  • 10. davep  |  March 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Hee hee. Just add the phrase "In a world where…" to the beginning of the comment and you already have the trailer done! : )

  • 11. davep  |  March 27, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    And I gotta say that I have so much gratitude and respect for the couples in these far-less-gay-friendly states who are stepping up and taking these laws to court. I live in California, and I did a ton of volunteer work around the whole Prop 8 mess, but that's not in the same league as putting myself out there to get turned down for a marriage license and file a law suit, especially in places like Mississippi. These couples are awesome and they deserve tremendous thanks from all of us.

  • 12. sfbob  |  March 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Nebraska had a lawsuit in 2003. The district court overturned the ban, but that court's ruling was overturned on appeal and the plaintiffs didn't pursue it further. I find it a bit surprising, given that all this took place prior to Windsor, that nobody is willing to re-open the case.

  • 13. davep  |  March 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I suppose that could be due to changes that may have occurred in the lives of the plaintiffs? For example if they are no longer a couple, or just no longer want to marry, or if they have moved out of the state, etc. It would be interesting to know if those original plaintiffs are even still in a position to be willing and able to re-open the case.

  • 14. Warren  |  March 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Anybody has a list that note all the states that have law suits pending? Or, a list of the states that don't have a law suit pending? Thanks!

  • 15. Scottie Thomaston  |  March 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    We have a current cases list: http://equalityontrial.com/current-cases/

    Sadly, it's only current as of Feb 20, so there are many cases missing, from Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Florida…

  • 16. Ragavendran  |  March 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Take your pick :)
    http://equalityontrial.com/current-cases/
    http://www.freedomtomarry.org/litigation
    http://www.marriageequality.org/lawsuits
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsGe

  • 17. davep  |  March 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    That. is Awesome. Thanks, Ragavendran.

    A request for Scottie & the EoT staff – would you consider putting those links to the other web pages / spreadsheets on the EoT "Current Cases" page along with our own info?

  • 18. RCChicago  |  March 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    How amazing it is that a list dated just a month ago can be that out-of-date with all the new lawsuits that have been filed!!!

  • 19. Pat  |  March 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Overall, it seems that ND, SD and GA have no lawsuit whatsoever
    And AK, MT, NE, KS, MS, OH don't have lawsuits directly targeting the marriage ban (only side issues such as out-of-state recognition, divorce, survivors benefits, etc.) http://middlingamerica.blogspot.com/2014/03/updathttps://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsGe

  • 20. Pat  |  March 27, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Also the map at middlingamerica.blogspot.com is very good and seems to be updated regularly.

  • 21. gthog61  |  March 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Oh joy, the country's biggest "achievement" of the 21st century is gay "marriage".

  • 22. Reformed  |  March 27, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Do you support marriage equality? If one may know. Let me rephrase that, do support couples of the same gender being able to marry (each other of course)?

  • 23. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Oh look. A "comment."

  • 24. Rick O.  |  March 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I believe two women – a very long-term couple – in Rapid City (?) either applied for a license or announced plans to marry out-of-state later this year and then demand recognition. Their timetable is long. This was in the news just a few weeks ago.

  • 25. Kirk  |  March 27, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    The representative of my district just proposed a bill to repeal Missouri's same sex ban !http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/03/mo-lawmaker-introduces-bill-to-repeal-states-ban-on-same-sex-marriage

  • 26. Klaus  |  March 28, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Better than the end times Duck Dynasty "Christianity" redefining racism, homophobia, greed, segregation and pedophilia as "faith" and "religious beliefs."

  • 27. grod  |  March 28, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Scottie & Pat: Use Pat's list. Get an agreement that either of you can update it. Good use of a volunteer.

  • 28. Chuck from PA  |  March 28, 2014 at 6:38 am

    We have so many everyday heroes in the brave men and women who challenge these discriminatory laws. And Puerto Rico has a new court case as well.

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