Same sex marriages widely discussed from courts to churches - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Same sex marriages widely discussed from courts to churches

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It's a topic in the spotlight from the courts to the church. Same-sex marriages are getting another look. Those within the LGBT community are hoping folks will open their hearts and minds to a broader definition.

"Eventually marriage equality will come to Mississippi," said advocate Eddie Outlaw. "It's just a matter of time."

Outlaw married his partner Justin in California last year. He's watched social media used as a platform for people to begin conversations of acceptance.

"I think we're at a point now, where people just have to realize that the LGBT community is a very vibrant and diverse group of people," explained Outlaw. "We are your neighbors. We work with you. We're here."

A recent case sparking controversy is one of Nick and Jessica Fulgham. Nick is transgender but was officially declared a man last year. The couple filed for a marriage license in DeSoto County and then married in Madison County last month.

Mississippi passed a constitutional ban on same sex marriage in 2004. Pastor and lawmaker Senator Phillip Gandy hopes it stands.

"Many times we're asked to be tolerant of other people's beliefs," Gandy described. "But here again, we'd only ask that people be tolerant of ours. And we believe in marriage, natural marriage, is between a man and woman."

Yet Gandy sees the changes and knows conservatives may be challenged on the issue.

"States have no voice in it and that bothers me because the will of the people is being thwarted by those in the judiciary who do not make the laws," Gandy said. "Their job is to interpret the laws."

Outlaw sees other reasons to make him optimistic. Monday's statements on gay marriage acceptance in the Catholic church is one of them. For now, he waits till his marriage is recognized here in his home state.

"That will come in time probably sooner than anyone expects," Outlaw speculated.

Groups like the Human Rights Campaign have put roots down in Mississippi to push for more equality.

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