Attorney General Jim Hood: 'The Supreme Court's decision is not - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

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Attorney General Jim Hood: 'The Supreme Court's decision is not immediately effective in Mississippi'

Marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples in Forrest County, Source: WDAM Marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples in Forrest County, Source: WDAM
FORREST COUNTY (Mississippi News Now) - The Mississippi Attorney General issued a statement today about the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage.

Attorney General Jim Hood said, “The Supreme Court's decision is not immediately effective in Mississippi. It will become effective in Mississippi, and circuit clerks will be required to issue same-sex marriage licenses, when the 5th Circuit lifts the stay of Judge Reeves' order. This could come quickly or may take several days. The 5th Circuit might also choose not to lift the stay and instead issue an order, which could take considerably longer before it becomes effective.”

Same-sex couples in Forrest County were issued marriage licenses Friday, immediately after the Supreme Court's ruling, but before Attorney General Hood released the statement.

According to Forrest County Circuit Clerk Lou-Ann Adams, this could mean that marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in Mississippi right after today's ruling may be invalid.  Those couples would still be able to apply for a marriage license under the new law.

Attorney General Hood also released this statement: “The Office of the Attorney General is certainly not standing in the way of the Supreme Court's decision. We simply want to inform our citizens of the procedure that takes effect after this ruling. The Supreme Court decision is the law of the land and we do not dispute that. When the 5th Circuit lifts the stay of Judge Reeves' order, it will become effective in Mississippi and circuit clerks will be required to issue same-sex marriage licenses.”

In a response to the statement by the Attorney General, Mississippi ACLU Executive Director Jennifer-Riley Collins made this statement: "Everyone has a duty to follow the Constitution whether or not there is a specific injunction ordering them to do so on pain of contempt. Common sense should rule. A court order should not be needed to have the State of Mississippi follow the Constitution. The Supreme Court has spoken and everyone should be complying with the Constitution. The right question isn't about timing around lifting the stay on the injunction. The question is whether states and their officers have to comply with the Constitution now. The answer is yes. States and government officials cannot drag their heels when it comes to their constitutional obligations."

Collins went on to say, “The ACLU of Mississippi remains prepared to ensure and defend the freedom of marriage to all. While we hope the Clerks will begin to issue the licenses soon, all necessary legal actions remain an option.”

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