Wedding bells will have to wait for Mississippi same-sex couples - - Jackson, MS

Wedding bells will have to wait for Mississippi same-sex couples

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Same sex couples weren't saying "I do" in Mississippi Friday.

We asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans for clarification. Attorneys there say there's a 25 day rehearing period for all Supreme Court decisions It won't be until after that when one of its panels examine pending cases, like Mississippi's.

Attorney General Jim Hood sent a statement to clerks telling them, "The Supreme Court's decision is not immediately effective in Mississippi."

Couples showed up at courthouses only to learn it wouldn't be their big day.

"In Mississippi we're going to get there one way or another and I believe that our folks will be able to get married," said Harry Hawkins, Field Organizer for the Human Rights Campaign Mississippi. "This is unfortunate that we're dragging a little bit but that's OK."

Here's why it's not a done deal in Mississippi. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves reversed the state's gay marriage ban in November. It was appealed by the state and put on hold until the Supreme Court ruled.

The problem now is that hold hasn't been lifted.

"Procedurally, Circuit Clerk offices cannot issue a license to a same sex couple until that stay is lifted," explained ACLU of Mississippi Executive Director Jennifer Riley-Collins.

Other couples previously left the state to get married. Friday was the first day their union was recognized, no matter their home state.

"The state of Mississippi should now as a result of the Obergefell decision recognize under full faith and credit every marriage that has occurred, regardless of whether it's a same sex couple or not," noted Riley-Collins.

"I would hope that the state of Mississippi would hurry up for these couples who have been waiting 20, 30 plus years, maybe even longer than that," added Harry Hawkins.

Couples say that even though they're waiting, Friday was a victory.

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