Marriage Equality Comes to the Magnolia State
Jackson, MS – In a sweeping and historic 5-4 ruling, today the Supreme Court of the United States found bans on marriage equality to be unconstitutional, bringing the fundamental right to marry to hundreds of loving and committed same-sex couples in the Magnolia State. In celebration of the victory, HRC Mississippi will be joined by other local advocacy groups for rallies and community events in Jackson, Hattiesburg and Tupelo.
The majority opinion, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, represents a clear mandate for Governor Phil Bryant, Attorney General Jim Hood, and officials all over the state of Mississippi, to cease their attempts to uphold these discriminatory statutes and start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
“This historic ruling makes it perfectly clear that there is no legal or moral justification for standing in the path of marriage equality,” said HRC Mississippi State Director Rob Hill. “We call on Governor Bryant to immediately make the institution of marriage accessible to same sex couples in Mississippi and ensure that the ruling is fully implemented at every level.”
While this historic victory is a key step forward for achieving equal dreams in the Magnolia State, the fight for full equality in the South is far from over. As we move forward, HRC Mississippi will continue working to guarantee that the lived experience of LGBT people in Mississippi does not suffer as a result of this ruling, but is made richer and more fulfilled.
HRC President Chad Griffin added, “Today’s ruling makes perfectly clear that there is no legal or moral justification for standing in the path of marriage equality. Couples from Mississippi to North Dakota to Texas shouldn’t have to wait even a moment longer to be treated equally under the law. But what’s clear today is that our work isn’t done until every discriminatory law in this nation is wiped away. The time has come in this country for comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination protections. We now have to work harder than ever before to make sure LGBT Americans cannot be fired, evicted or denied services simply on the basis of the marriage license that they fought so hard to achieve.”
On April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case originating in Ohio. In January, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear Obergefell along with three other cases from Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. The arguments were consolidated under the name Obergefell, and the questions posed by the court dealt with the constitutionality of marriage bans more broadly. Prior to today’s decision, marriage equality had come to 37 states as well as the District of Columbia – representing more than 70 percent of the U.S. population.
HRC Mississippi is working to advance equality for LGBT Mississippians who have no state or municipal level protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations; legal state recognition for their relationships and families; state rights to jointly adopt children; and state protections from hate crimes. HRC Mississippi works to realize a future where everyone is treated fairly by changing hearts, minds and laws.