About an hour after the pair filled out the requisite paperwork, handed over $21 for a marriage license and sealed their nuptials with a happy kiss Friday morning on the steps of the county courthouse in Hattiesburg, another lesbian couple, Shelly Cranford and Shannon Smith, received a far different reception.
Their mistake? Arriving just after Mississippi’s attorney general, Jim Hood, declared that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right would not be observed in the Magnolia State.
Not yet, anyway, Hood said, as Mississippi, long at the heart of America’s most divisive issues, from slavery to school integration, once again dug in its heels against the winds of change . . .
To understand Mississippi’s resistance to gay marriage, it helps to look at its legacy as a deeply religious and conservative state. . . It is where 59% of residents described themselves as “very religious” in a 2014 Gallup Poll, higher than any other state, and where 86% of voters in 2004 approved a ban on same-sex marriage. (Read more from “Mississippi in Limbo Over High-Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling” HERE)
Texas AG: State Workers Can Deny Licenses to Gay Couples
By Betsy Blaney. Texas’ conservative Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton called the Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry a “lawless ruling” and said state workers can cite their religious objections in denying marriage licenses.
He warned in a statement Sunday that any clerk, justice of the peace or other administrator who declines to issue a license to a same-sex couple could face litigation or a fine.
But in the nonbinding legal opinion requested by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Paxton says “numerous lawyers” stand ready to defend, free of charge, any public official refusing to grant one. (Read more from this story HERE)