John M. Becker

Mississippi Marriage Ban Struck Down

Filed By John M. Becker | November 26, 2014 9:00 AM | comments

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

mississippi_simple.gifLast night, just hours after a federal judge struck down marriage discrimination in Arkansas, another judge did the same in Mississippi.

BuzzFeed reports:

A federal judge in Mississippi on Tuesday night ruled that Mississippi's ban on same-sex couples' marriages is unconstitutional -- but the decision has been put on hold for two weeks.

"Today's decision may cause uneasiness and concern about the change it will bring," U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves wrote. "Mississippi continues to change in ways its people could not anticipate even 10 years ago. Allowing same-sex couples to marry, however, presents no harm to anyone. At the very least, it has the potential to support families and provide stability for children."

In the 72-page ruling, Reeves found that "[g]ay and lesbian persons are full citizens that share the same rights as other citizens, including the right to marry."

The case was brought by the Campaign for Southern Equality. The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Roberta Kaplan, who represented Edie Windsor and argued and won the landmark United States v. Windsor case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Reeves, an Obama appointee, also took a swipe at the argument put forth by Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld exclusionary marriage laws in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In his decision, Sutton wrote that marriage equality is better achieved not through the courts, but "through the customary political processes."

But Reeves called shenanigans, writing, "The courts do not wait out the political process when constitutional rights are being violated, especially when the political process caused the constitutional violations in the first place."

He also discussed the history of anti-LGBT oppression in Mississippi and noted the interconnectedness of racial and anti-LGBT discrimination.

A copy of the ruling is after the break, via Equality Case Files.

3:14-cv-00818 #30 Mississippi Preliminary Injunction by Equality Case Files

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