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Five Gay Couples Denied Marriage Licenses in Mississippi: VIDEO


Five lesbian couples applied for and were denied marriage licenses in Hattiesburg, Mississippi yesterday as part of a demonstration by the Campaign for Southern Equality's "We Do" campaign.

WDAM reports:

All the couples applied for a marriage license, and were immediately denied. Forrest County Circuit Clerk Lou Ellen Adams explained the rejection.

"As I told the others, you know, this takes an act of the legislature to change this. My oath of office, as circuit clerk , I have to take an oath that I have to up hold the laws of the state of Mississippi, and this law says that I can not issue this license," said Adams.

Five lesbian couples from South Mississippi entered the courthouse knowing their request for a license would be denied. Reverend Jasmine Beach-Ferrara says this peaceful action is a part of the "We Do" Campaign, which calls for full equality under federal law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

"Call for change under federal law, which we believe to be the most appropriate path way for LGBT people in the south to become equal citizens under the law, and for their fundamental right to marry to be recognized which it currently is not," said Ferrara.


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  1. This takes a lot of courage. Good for them.
    More people need to stand up and be counted.

    Posted by: Gigi | Jan 3, 2013 9:30:47 AM

  2. Thanks for following this story as we travel across the South. We're headed to Mobile, AL, for the next WE DO Campaign action on Friday, Jan. 4. You can send a message of support to the couples at:

    - Jasmine
    Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director
    Campaign for Southern Equality

    Posted by: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara | Jan 3, 2013 9:45:13 AM

  3. In a state where it is definitely easier to stay hidden and quiet, I'm proud of my Mississippi brothers and sisters for taking this action that was covered by local and national media. According to The Williams Institute and based upon 2010 census data, Mississippi leads the nation in the proportion of same-sex couples rearing children. The heterosexual southern audience watching and reading the news needs to see that even in Mississippi, marriage and family are not exclusive to them. Big thanks to the Campaign for Southern Equality for their leadership and for affecting change where it is needed the most.

    Posted by: BryanB | Jan 3, 2013 10:19:32 AM

  4. The only way they are going to be able to get a marriage license anytime soon is if the Supreme Court legalizes marriage nationwide in June.

    Posted by: Anthony | Jan 3, 2013 10:21:35 AM

  5. Unfortunately they're also listed on huffpost as the state LEAST likely to adopt marriage equality. MS had the highest percentage of voters supporting the ban in 2004: 86%!!!

    I'm so glad my ancestors left that state.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Jan 3, 2013 10:35:33 AM

  6. Mississippi is still smarting over desegregation... the chance of them recognizing marriage equality voluntarily is somewhere between zero and nil.

    Posted by: Joseph L. | Jan 3, 2013 11:10:22 AM

  7. The fact that marriage equality has a zero to nil chance of passage in backward states like Mississippi is all the more reason why actions like this are important. For all the progress in parts of the U.S., the majority of states won't see progress any time soon, which makes addressing marriage equality at the federal level--what the WE DO campaign is essentially calling for--crucial if we want to be 1st class citizens.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 3, 2013 11:27:32 AM

  8. Hah! They're still fighting the Civil War in that state...

    Drive around down there and count the pickup trucks with confederate flag bumper stickers....

    embarrassing and evil.........

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Jan 3, 2013 12:01:19 PM

  9. Isn't it interesting that the law is the reason they can't issue a license, but when the laws change it's religion that authorizes them NOT to obey the law and still deny the licenses.

    Posted by: Don | Jan 3, 2013 1:05:07 PM

  10. Exactly what I was thinking, Don. NOW Lou Ellen Adams says "I can't do it because I'm bound to follow the laws of the state." Maybe she's one of the 'good ones' who really WOULD like to issue them but can't, but chances are pretty good that if the state told her to do it then she'd say she couldn't do it because of her religion.

    I have NO sympathy for the county and state officials in marriage equality states who refuse to issue licenses to gay couples. Just as I would have no sympathy for an observant Jew or Muslim who took a job in a bacon processing plant. Either do your job or find another. Perhaps your CHURCH is hiring, but be warned that churches often use their "special" status to avoid paying the unemployment taxes and insurance benefits mandated by the state.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 3, 2013 2:15:09 PM

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