A gay couple who wish to marry in
Mississippi and one who wants their out-of-state marriage recognized
filed on Monday a lawsuit in federal court challenging Mississippi's
ban on gay marriage.
Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) filed the lawsuit on behalf
of Andrea Sanders and Rebecca Bickett, who wish to marry in
Mississippi, and Jocelyn Pritchett and Carla Webb, who want their
marriage celebrated in Maine to be recognized by Mississippi.
Lead counsel for the plaintiffs is
Roberta Kaplan, who was also the lead counsel in the landmark Supreme
Court Windsor decision that struck down a critical provision
of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year. Windsor has
played a significant role in cases challenging state marriage bans.
Court took a gigantic step forward last year in Windsor, and since
then, dozens of courts around the country have followed suit so that
today, gay people in thirty-two states have the right to marry,”
Kaplan said in a statement. “It is now time to take the next big
step by making sure that gay families in Mississippi are accorded
these same protections. The Supreme Court has made it clear that no
matter where a gay person lives – whether it is in Maine,
Minnesota, or Mississippi – our Constitution requires that they be
treated with the same dignity and respect under the law as everyone
Mississippi has the
largest percentage (26%) in the nation of gay couples raising
children, according to figures published by the Williams Institute.
come quickly enough to Mississippi for these families,” Rev.
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of CSE, said in a