March 27, 2014
In Mississippi, five same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses on Tuesday, despite the fact that Mississippi has a constitutional ban. The Campaign for Southern Equality led the protest:
However, waving signs saying “We do,” the crowd on Tuesday joined hands for a prayer led by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of LGBT rights group Southern Equality. Then, the couples filed through metal detectors and into the courthouse.
Once inside, the five couples lined up to apply for their licenses two-by-two at the office of the county clerk. The clerk noted that the forms did not have blanks for two males and females, and asked instead which person would like to appear first on the marriage license.
The couples paid their fees and signed their receipts, then walked back out into the early spring sunshine.
“We hope to return soon,” one person told the Free Press. “Our love is not going to change.”
“We gather together to resist laws that we believe to be immoral and also unconstitutional,” said Beach-Ferrara.
The couples were allowed to have official copies of their receipts, though they’ll be turned down for licenses. Mississippi is one of the last remaining states with no lawsuit challenging the state’s same-sex marriage ban. A same-sex couple’s divorce was denied by a state judge in 2013 because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.