Mississippi blocked from enacting anti-gay law

Posted on 29 Jun 2016 at 2:17pm

 

Kaplan.Roberta

Attorney Roberta Kaplan at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hearing in 2015.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves has struck down a recent Mississippi law that discriminated against same-sex couples. He ruled that Mississippi circuit clerks can’t cite their own religious views to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Roberta Kaplan, the attorney who represented Edie Windsor in the case that found parts of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, also represented two lesbian couples in the state’s marriage equality lawsuit in 2014. She filed a motion in the marriage equality case. Reeves found in favor of marriage equality and after the Obergefell decision, his ruling was certified by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The new “religious liberty” law would have gone into effect on July 1. Kaplan argued the law would create uncertainty for same-sex couples who wouldn’t know which clerks would stand in the way of their constitutional right to marry. The state shouldn’t be able to continue to create new legal barriers to marriage, she argued.

According to the Jackson Clarion Ledger, Gov. Phil Bryant recently received an award from the Family Research Council for signing the bill into law.

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