Should gay divorce be granted in MS? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Should gay divorce be granted in MS?

Czekala-Chatham believes she should be granted divorce in Mississippi since she's been living here for 35 years. Source: WLBT Czekala-Chatham believes she should be granted divorce in Mississippi since she's been living here for 35 years. Source: WLBT
The justices recessed, promising a decision, but mindful that a decision on gay marriage in general from the U.S. Supreme Court is expected later this year. Source: WLBT The justices recessed, promising a decision, but mindful that a decision on gay marriage in general from the U.S. Supreme Court is expected later this year. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -  Mississippi by law does not recognize same sex marriages, so Mississippi Supreme Court Presiding Justice Jess Dickinson has this question: 

"Why in the world would you not say, we are happy for these people to get a divorce, and any other gay couple who wants to come by and get a divorce, we'd be happy for them to do that because that fulfills our public policy?" he asks. 

But they must also consider this interpretation. 

"In order to be able to grant a divorce, you have to be able to recognize a marriage in the first place," states Attorney Justin Matheny from the Attorney General's Office. 

Lauren Czekala-Chatham married Dana Ann Melancon in 2008 in California, where same sex marriages are recognized. Czekala-Chatham believes she should be granted divorce in Mississippi since she's been living here for 35 years. 

"Imagine how it would be if heterosexuals had to go back to the state you got married in to get a divorce. It's inconvenient," she says, adding that she has been bullied by some of her homosexual peers for seeking a divorce. 

Her attorney, Carey Varnado, says the State can grant the divorce regardless of what the Constitution says. 

"There is no public policy interest in this state to prohibit this divorce, regardless of whether or not you think gays and lesbians should be married," he says. 

The justices recessed, promising a decision, but mindful that a decision on gay marriage in general from the U.S. Supreme Court is expected later this year. 

"It might be better just to wait and see what they say, and what they say is what the answer's gonna be no matter what we say," says Justice Michael Randolph.

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