John M. Becker

Mississippi Marriage Plaintiff Couple Speaks Out

Filed By John M. Becker | January 07, 2015 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: gay marriage, marriage equality, Mississippi, same-sex marriage

mississippi-marriage-plaintiff-couple.jpgThe Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi marriage equality cases on Friday.

Ahead of the big day, USA Today sat down for an extensive interview with Becky Bickett and Andrea Sanders, one of the Mississippi plaintiff couples:

Pritchett and Webb, in fact, had gotten to the point that they were considering a move to another state. Webb, an endodontist with her own practice, had a job interview in Maine last year. Pritchett, a self-employed civil engineer with her own company, went along. While in Maine, they got hitched.

"I was hating living in Mississippi," Webb says. "Here, people think gay marriage is not only not all right, they think it's perverted."

"We were getting the hell out of Dodge," Pritchett says.

Instead, they were drawn to stay and fight to have their marriage recognized in their home state. Pritchett got involved in the battle against the state Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics feared would allow commercial businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples.

From there, it wasn't so much of a leap to join the Campaign for Southern Equality in its lawsuit. They were represented in court by Roberta Kaplan, who won the Supreme Court case against the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013...

Bickett and Sanders have it harder because of their economic circumstances. They were literally thrown together after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their parents' Gulf Coast homes in Bay St. Louis in 2005. Their first home together was a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailer.

Now the couple owns a single-wide trailer on three acres north of the coast, but they are struggling financially. Bickett was laid off from her job as a geospatial analyst and is looking for full-time work. Sanders, with a degree in family relations and human development, is staying home with the toddlers.

They dream of having a big family, but without legalized gay marriage, Sanders isn't considered to be Owen's and Adrian's mom. They cannot adopt or even be foster parents as a couple.

Watch these equality warriors speak out, after the break.

h/t: Towleroad

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