In Arkansas, a federal judge also threw out the state’s marriage ban. In June, another judge ruled discrimination unconstitutional and about 500 couples married before the ruling was stayed.
“The Fourteenth Amendment operates to remove the blinders of inequality from our eyes,” U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves wrote in the Mississippi decision. “Though we cherish our traditional values, they must give way to constitutional wisdom. Mississippi’s traditional beliefs about gay and lesbian citizens led it to defy that wisdom by taking away fundamental rights owed to every citizen. It is time to restore those rights.”
Both the Arkansas and Mississippi rulings were put on hold allowing the states to appeal. The Mississippi ruling is stayed just two weeks.
Mississippi is part of the 5th Circuit, which will hear appeals of the Louisiana and Texas rulings on Jan. 9.