AG: Fifth Circuit Clears Path for Same-Sex Marriage

On Wednesday, Attorney General Jim Hood said the 5th Circuit lifted the stay of the preliminary injunction in the Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant case over Mississippi's ban on same-sex marriage.

The statement said:

"The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has this afternoon lifted the stay of the preliminary injunction. Mississippi’s laws prohibiting same sex marriage are now officially declared unconstitutional and unenforceable by the Federal Court. This ruling makes clear that marriage licenses should be issued to same sex couples.”

Gov. Phil Bryant remains opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, but he's stopping his court fight against it.

In his letter submitted on Wednesday, Bryant's lawyer asks the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to return a Mississippi gay marriage lawsuit to U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves in Jackson. That would allow Reeves to enter a final ruling aligned with the Supreme Court decision.

Reeves overturned Mississippi's gay marriage ban last year, but put his ruling on hold. The appeals court also put a hold on Reeves' ruling.

Those procedural blocks need to be lifted, but most Mississippi counties are already issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Lawyers for plaintiffs want judges to act before July 4, to "celebrate the promise of liberty and freedom for all."

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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