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Alabama Supremes Challenge Federal Courts on Marriage Equality

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

AlabamaThe Alabama Supreme Court has weighed in on the marriage equality question, and it’s about what you’d expect.

The Dallas Voice reports:

The Alabama Supreme Court late today (Tuesday) ordered all of the state’s probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of orders from a federal district court judge overturning the Alabama same-sex marriage ban, and a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to block the district judge’s order… The state’s highest court said Alabama wasn’t bound by this “new definition” of marriage, though marriage equality has “gained ascendancy in certain quarters of the country,” including the federal judiciary. The supreme court’s ruling said: “As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for ‘marriage’ between only one man and one woman. Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty.”

The Court has given probate judges five days to respond to the new order.

The case was brought by two anti-gay groups.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The court’s ruling came in response to a request from the Southern Baptist-affiliated Alabama Citizens Action Program and the Alabama Policy Institute, a conservative think tank, which asked the justices to halt same-sex unions.

Joe Godfrey, executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program, said he was very excited about the decision. “We are concerned about the family and the danger that same-sex marriage will have. It will be a devastating blow to the family, which is already struggling,” Godfrey said. He said the decision will provide some stability in Alabama until the U.S Supreme Court rules later this year. The nation’s high court will hear oral arguments in April and is expected to issue a ruling by June regarding whether gay couples nationwide have a fundamental right to marry and whether states can ban such unions.

Mat Staver at the Liberty Counsel is over the moon about the decision.

Joe.My.God reports:

The ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court is historic, and is one of the most researched and well reasoned opinions on marriage to be issued by any court in the country. The legitimacy of the judiciary is undermined when a judge legislates from the bench or usurps the power reserved to the states regarding natural marriage. This decision of the Alabama Supreme Court is very well reasoned, which is quite rare from today’s courts. The decision not only affirms natural marriage but also restores the rule of law.

Meanwhile, the legislature is considering a “right to discriminate” bill.

SDGLN reports:

HB 56 would allow religious organizations to refuse solemnizing and recognizing any marriage, and prevents the government from penalizing organizations for their refusal to recognize marriage. In addition, the bill broadly defines religious organizations to include social service organizations. Because Alabama has no LGBT non-discrimination protections, this bill would exempt organizations from the general rules applicable to spouses, and could allow, for example, a religious hospital to refuse to recognize the spouse of a patient.

It’s gpnna be a crazy day down in Alabama.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

Alabama Marriage Equality Update – 2/13/15

Friday, February 13th, 2015

AlabamaMore counties got on board the marriage equality bandwagon today, and opponents gnashed their teeth. Hey, haters gonna hate.

As of this morning, the number of counties issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples had jumped again, in response to the Federal Judge’s chastising of Mobile County.

Joe.My.God reports:

“With 40 counties confirmed to be issuing #marriage licenses, 75% of #Alabama population lives in county with freedom to marry.” Yesterday’s ruling in Mobile County is having the predicted effect and more than a dozen other counties have relented this morning.

A little later in the day, that number had jumped to 47.

ABC News reports:

About 20 of Alabama’s 67 counties allowed gays and lesbians to wed on Monday. By Friday that number had jumped to at least 47, the Human Rights Campaign said. Other counties said they would revisit the decision next week.

HRC expects that to grow by next week.

The Advocate reports:

As of 4 p.m. local time on Friday, 47 counties in Alabama were issuing marriage licenses to all couples, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which has been tracking the situation since U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade’s pro-equality rulings took effect Monday. Those 47 counties contain 82 percent of the state’s population, and by next week, a full 50 counties will allow same-sex couples to legally marry, reports HRC.

LGBT has the details county by county:

Issuing to all couples: Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Blount, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Coosa, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, Dekalb, Elmore, Escambia, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Green, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Russell, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox and Winston. 82 % of population; 47 counties

Will start next week: Hale, Marion, Marshall, 3%; 3

Issuing to only straight couples: Chambers, Choctaw, Clay, Cleburne. Covington, Houston, Marengo, Pickens, Shelby, Washington. 10%; 10

Not issuing licenses to any couples: Bibb, Clarke, Geneva, Pike, Randolph, Tallapoosa, Walker. 5%; 7

Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court is asking probate judges to respond in a lawsuit brought by the anti-gay Liberty Counsel.

Equality on Trial reports:

The Alabama Supreme Court has issued an order requiring the probate judges in counties who are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and named as defendants in a pending action filed by Liberty Counsel to “file answers and,if they choose to do so, briefs, addressing issues raised by the petition, including, but not limited to, any issue relating to standing or otherwise relating to this Court’s subject-matter jurisdiction, and any issue relating to the showing necessary for temporary relief as requested in the petition.” The order is addressing the petition filed by Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT organization, attempting to force county probate judges who are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples to stop issuing them.

Speaking of haters, here’s our first one.

Joe.My.God reports:

Cedric Hatcher, an outspoken street evangelist and regular at Birmingham City Hall, took to the lectern during the public comment portion of today’s meeting to express his disapproval of the marriages that took place just across Linn Park and around the state Monday. “To me yesterday was one of the most bizarre scenes I’ve ever seen in the city,” Hatcher said. “It was one of the most comedic scenes I’ve ever seen in public when I witnessed men with size 13 and 14 shoes out there kissing each other in the mouth in front of little kids. It was like a freak scene going on, that’s what I call it.” Like his previous statements on social issues, Hatcher didn’t soften his approach when criticizing the legalization of same-sex marriage. He delivered an abrasive critique instead. Hatcher cited several Bible passages and decried the presence of children in ceremonies he believed were abominable. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But the worst part? There are no batteries to be found on the shelves of Birmingham stores. Because gay marriage.

And Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s drama queen, was ranting about “slavery” and the “gay gestapo”.

Joe.My.God reports:

“When you are ordered by an agent of the government to violate your own conscience in something that you do, that is slavery. If you are forced to violate your conscience to do work, that is slavery. If you are forced to violate your conscience that is tyranny…that is the gay gestapo at work, ‘you either do what we tell you or you’re gonna get punished.'”

And the chair of the state GOP is NOT HAPPY.

The Dallas Voice reports:

The chair of Alabama’s Republican Party thinks God is pissed because same-sex couples can marry in his state. “The state of Alabama and the United States of America will reap God’s wrath if we embrace and condone things that are abhorrent to God, such as redefining marriage as anything other than a union between one man and one woman,” Alabama Republican Party Chair Bill Armistead wrote this week.

To take the sour taste out of your mouth, check out this great celebratory video from Freedom to Marry, including moments from the first day of Alabama same sex weddings.

Alabama Marriage Equality Update 2/10/15

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

AlabamaAnother day, more controversy in Alabama as the marriage equality fight continues.

At least three counties have relented and started to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples:

It’s possible that these counties are reacting to a statement made last night by the governor. Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican and a Southern Baptist, said he believes strongly that marriage is between one man and one woman, but that the issue should be “worked out through the proper legal channels” and not through defiance of the law. The governor noted that Alabama is about to be in the spotlight again with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was passed after civil rights marchers were attacked and beaten in Selma, Alabama — events chronicled in the Oscar-nominated movie “Selma.” “I don’t want Alabama to be seen as it was 50 years ago when a federal law was defied. I’m not going to do that,” Bentley said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. The three counties (Limestone, Morgan, and Elmore) have a combined population of 280,000. That still leaves more than 50 counties who are not serving gay couples.

Attorney General Luther Strange filed his response to the plaintiffs’ amended complaint.

Equality on Trial reports:

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has filed his response to yesterday’s request from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), who’s representing the plaintiffs in Strawser v. Strange, to amend their complaint, add new plaintiffs and defendants, and request a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order against the Mobile County Probate Judge. The filing notes that the attorney general can’t issue marriage licenses, nor can he order county probate judges to take any actions or open their offices. Because of that, he doesn’t oppose the addition of plaintiffs who are seeking marriage licenses from Mobile County, and the probate judge of the county as a defendant.

The judge in the case has scheduled a hearing for Friday.

Equality on Trial reports:

The federal district court judge who overturned Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, February 12 on the request in Strawser for an injunction requiring Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis. The county is still refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and they’re see

Some straight couples have been caught in the crossfire:

Meanwhile, Governor Bentley made some conciliatory noises.

Equality on Trial reports:

The governor noted that Alabama is about to be in the spotlight again with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was passed after civil rights marchers were attacked and beaten in Selma, Alabama — events chronicled in the Oscar-nominated movie “Selma.” “I don’t want Alabama to be seen as it was 50 years ago when a federal law was defied. I’m not going to do that,” Bentley said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

“I’m trying to move this state forward.”

Chief Justice Roy Moore mouthed off again.

The Dallas Voice reports:

…on Monday, Feb. 9, Moore explained to ABC News that he has to stop same-sex marriage, because if loving, committed adult couples of the same gender are allowed to legally marry, then all hell is gonna break loose and then “men and their daughters or women and their sons” would be insisting they be allowed to get married too.

In a fitting tribute, the Klu Klux Klan came out in support of Moore today.

Joe.My.God reports:

From the website of the United Dixie White Knights: The Mississippi Klan salutes Alabama’s chief justice Roy Moore, for refusing to bow to the yoke of Federal tyranny. The Feds have no authority over individual States marriage laws. The fudgepackers from Hollywood and all major news networks are in shock that the good people from the heart of Dixie are resisting their Imperialist, Communist Homosexual agenda!

Lambda Legal is urging probate judges to ignore Moore.

SDGLN reports:

Lambda Legal today sent an open letter to the president of the Alabama Probate Judges Association and probate judges of counties that are not issuing licenses to same-sex couples urging them to disregard Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s legally incorrect and unfounded Administrative Order and instead issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and different-sex couples alike, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the state’s request for a stay.

A woman in Autauga County was arrested after trying to perform a same sex wedding ceremony in the probate judge’s office.

Joe.My.God reports:

An Autauga County woman was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct Tuesday morning after offering to perform a same sex marriage inside the probate judge’s office. Anne Susan Diprizio, of the 300 block of Cambridge Street, is charged with disorderly conduct, said Dave Hill, chief deputy of the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office. She was being processed in the Autauga Metro Jail after her arrest and was unavailable for comment. Courthouse records show she doesn’t have an attorney. She was being held on a bond of $1,000, Hill said.

The state has put up the biggest fight against marriage equality so far.

AL.com reports:

Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond School of Law professor who has tracked same-sex marriage litigation across the country, said he does not believe any other state has resisted the federal court system as aggressively as Alabama. He said the closest analogy probably is Florida, where clerks across the state initially insisted that a judge’s order striking down that state’s ban applied only in one county. “It never really culminated in this situation,” he said, referring to Monday’s wild day in Alabama. “The day came, and they were ready and everything went OK.”

US Senator Jeff Sessions jumped into the fray today.

Towleroad.com reports:

Sessions told CQ Roll Call that he believes judges’ rulings in favor of marriage equality have more to do with sentiment that an accurate interpretation of the U.S. Constitution: “I think it’s an unhealthy trend that judges feel that they’re somehow reflecting popular opinion when first of all, it’s not popular opinion, and secondly, who are they to be ruling on cases based on how they feel.”

Nate Cohn at the New York Times looks at the depth of opposition to gay marriage in Alabama:

…Those results suggest that Alabama would have voted overwhelmingly against same-sex marriage if it had been on the ballot there in 2012. I estimate the vote would have been roughly 73 percent to 27 percent against same-sex marriage. The estimate is based on the relationship between support for same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington; educational attainment; population density; the number of evangelical Christians and African-Americans; and support for Mr. Obama. Support for same-sex marriage has increased further over the last two years, rising to about 54 percent last year from 49 percent in 2012, according to Pew and Gallup national polls. Nonetheless, a majority — and probably two-thirds — of Alabama voters most likely remain opposed.

Now we wait for Friday’s hearing and the judge’s ruling.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alabama.

Marriage Equality Ruling in South Dakota

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

South Dakota mapA Federal Judge struck down South Dakota’s marriage equality ban yesterday.

The Washington Blade reports:

In a 28-page decision, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier, a Clinton appointee, grants summary judgement to plaintiff same-sex couples in the case, saying the South Dakota’s marriage ban runs contrary to their rights to equal protection and due process under the U.S. Constitution. “In Loving, the Supreme Court addressed a traditionally accepted definition of marriage that prohibited Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving from marrying,” Schreier writes. “Because Virginia’s laws deprived that couple of their fundamental right to marriage, the Court struck down those laws. Little distinguishes this case from Loving. Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to marry. South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification.”

Unfortunately, the judge stayed her own decision, so same sex couples in South Dakota will have to wait to get married.

Ari Ezra Waldman argues that there should have been no stay:

It no longer makes any sense, not after the Supreme Court refused to grant a stay in Florida pending appeal. As I argued previously, the Court’s refusal to extend the stay beyond January 5, 2015 was special because it was the first time the Court let stand a pro-marriage equality decision in a jurisdiction where the appellate court (11th Circuit, in this case) had not yet spoken. Everywhere else, in South Carolina, for example, or in Idaho, the Court let marriage equality go into effect because the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, respectively, had spoken.

South Dakota is in the Eighth Circuit, which has not had occasion to decide a marriage equality case in the post-Windsor world. Therefore, with respect to the stay, South Dakota is just like Florida: a state with a pro-equality federal district court decision that should not be stayed even though the superior circuit court has not yet spoken. It is a shame the stay was put into effect. The judge was probably just being cautious. But her caution extends the hours of discrimination and second-class citizenship for thousands of gay men and women.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in South Dakota.

The 1958 US Supreme Court Ruling That Started it All

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

One

The road to gay rights at the U.S. Supreme Court began not in San Francisco or New York, but in a small downtown Los Angeles office, where volunteer writers and editors in 1953 launched a new “magazine for homosexuals.”

ONE, as it was called, offered thoughtful articles, defiant editorials and none of the racy photos or sex ads often found in the gay press. “The first issue was sold in bars in the Los Angeles area for 25 cents, about the price of a draft beer,” said Michael C. Oliveira, an archivist at the magazine’s archives housed at the USC Library.

Yet in an era when FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was routing out “sex deviates” from the government and homosexuality was a crime in every state, the journal quickly drew negative attention, culminating with a U.S. Post Office ban of the magazine as “obscene.” The cover story of the first issue censored by the postmaster proved decades ahead of its time, asking “Homosexual Marriage?”

To the rescue came a young, straight California attorney fresh out of law school.

Authored By David G. Savage – See the Full Story at The Los Angeles Times

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Federal Judge Overturns Mississippi Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Mississippi MapJust hours after the Arkansas decision, a federal judge also overturned the marriage equality ban in Mississippi.

The Washington Blade reports:

U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves issued his 72-page ruling less than two weeks after he heard oral arguments in the case the Campaign for Southern Equality last month filed on behalf of two lesbian couples seeking marriage rights in the Magnolia State. “The court concludes that Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban deprives same-sex couples and their children of equal dignity under the law,” writes Reeves. “Gay and lesbian citizens cannot be subjected to such second-class citizenship.” Reeves, an African American who President Obama appointed to the federal bench in 2010, referenced the civil rights movement throughout his decision.

The judge also noted that discrimination against gays is not over in the state:

Reeves in his decision also noted Mississippi lawmakers earlier this year approved a measure – Senate Bill 2681 – that opponents contend allows business owners to deny services to LGBT people based on their religious beliefs. SB 2681 took effect on July 1. “Discrimination against gay and lesbian Mississippians is not ancient history,” writes Reeves.

The ruling has been stayed for two weeks, pending appeal.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Mississippi.

Federal Judge Overturns Arkansas Marriage Equality Ban

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

ArkansasA federal judge just struck down the state’s ban on marriage equality.

The Washington Blade reports:

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker, an Obama appointee, wrote in a 45-page decision that Arkansas’ prohibition on gay nuptials, known as Amendment 83, violates the fundamental right to marriage protected by Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “As demonstrated, a most searching examination of Separate Defendants’ proposed reasons for Arkansas’s marriage laws reveals that these laws are not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling state interest,” Baker writes. “The bases Separate Defendants suggest for upholding Amendment 83 and the challenged statutes, primarily encouraging procreation and ensuring the best interests of children, in addition to the laws’ mismatched means, do not withstand strict scrutiny.”

Queerty flags some of the best quotes from the decision, including:

These cases underscore that the drafters of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments “knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.”

The judge stayed her own decision, so there will be no same-sex weddings immediately.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Arkansas.

Marriage Equality Comes to Montana

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

MontanaA federal judge struck down the ban on marriage equality in Montana yesterday.

The Washington Blade reports:

In an 18-page decision, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, an Obama appointee, struck down the state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage on the basis of an earlier decision in favor of marriage equality by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Montana. “No family wants to deprive its precious children of the chance to marry the loves of their lives,” Morris writes. “Montana no longer can deprive Plaintiffs and other same-sex couples of the chance to marry their loves.” Applying heightened scrutiny, or a greater assumption a law is unconstitutional, to Montana’s ban on same-sex marriage, Morris writes that state officials defending the marriage ban in court failed under that standard “to justify the discrimination engendered by the Montana laws that ban same-sex marriage.

No stay was issued on the ruling, so same-sex couples immediately started seeking marriage licenses.

The Charlotte Observer reports:

Gay couples were expected to line up for marriage licenses Thursday at county courthouses across Montana after a federal judge tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. At least two counties — Missoula and Park — started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples Wednesday, while court clerks elsewhere geared up to do so Thursday.

Among the first Montana couples to get their licenses on Wednesday were Amy Wagner, 56, and Karen Langebeck, 48, of Livingston, who have been together for 22 years. After hearing about the ruling at 2 p.m. MST, they got on the road to get their license. “Being able to get married and introduce Karen as my wife — that’s a big deal. Now I have a way to describe this relationship that everybody understands,” Wagner said.

Friend of the blog Matt Baume has compiled some of the best quotes from the decision, including:

Antigay attorneys love to rely on the Baker case, in which a 1972 dismissal from the U.S. Supreme Court stated that marriage equality wasn’t a federal issue. That was 42 years ago, and a lot has changed since then. Nevertheless, state attorneys keep bringing it up to try to persuade courts that they shouldn’t weigh in; and courts keep shooting that argument down. “Baker no longer precludes consideration of challenges to the constitutionality of laws that prohibit same-sex marriage,” Judge Morris wrote.

Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, is thrilled with the decision.

Joe.My.God reports:

“Today’s decision ensures we are closer to fulfilling our promise of freedom, dignity, and equality for all Montanans. It is a day to celebrate our progress, while recognizing the qualities that bind us as Montanans: a desire to make a good life for ourselves and our families, while providing greater opportunities to the next generation. I have instructed my administration to quickly take all appropriate steps to ensure that we are recognizing and affording the same rights and responsibilities to legally married same-sex couples that all married Montanans have long enjoyed.”

But the Montana Family Foundation is not.

Joe.My.God reports:

“I am heartbroken for the people of Montana who have had the redefinition of marriage forced on them by an out-of-control federal judiciary. I am also grieved for the children of same-sex couples who have no chance of growing up with a mom and a dad. While we mourn the direction of a misguided judiciary, we’re encouraged by the fact that natural marriage was enshrined in 31 state Constitutions, and a recent Pew poll showed that support for same-sex marriage has dropped by 5% in the past 3 months. While the courts believe same-sex marriage is a settled issue, it’s anything but settled in the hearts and minds of the people. While we’re disappointed in the decision, we will not despair, we will not throw in the towel and we will not give up. As Cicero once said, ‘Time obliterates the fictions of opinion and confirms the decisions of nature.'”

Republican Atty. Gen. Tim Fox has already vowed to appeal the ruling.

Joe.My.God reports:

“It is the attorney general’s sworn duty to uphold and defend Montana’s constitution until such time as there is no further review or no appeal can be made in a court of law. Fulfilling that duty, the state of Montana will appeal this ruling in light of the fact that there are conflicting federal court decisions and no final word from the U.S. Supreme Court.”

All we can say is “good luck with that.”

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Montana.

Michigan Domestic Partnership Ban Overturned

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

MichiganA federal judge has finally officially overturned Michigan’s ban on getting benefits for couples in domestic partnerships.

Think Progress reports:

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the state’s law banning the same-sex partners of public employees from receiving benefits is unconstitutional. The law in question was passed just back in 2011. It specifically infringed on municipalities that were already providing benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of city employees. Five couples whose benefits were cut by the law’s passage filed the complaint that led to this decision. Judge David Lawson, a Clinton appointee, pointed out that the marriage rulings are not relevant in this case because “this is case is not about marriage.” Rather, he wrote, it has to do with whether a state “may adopt a narrow definition of family, and pass laws that penalize those unions and households that do not conform.” Only public employees with same-sex partners are impacted by the law, he explained, and it imposes a significant financial burden on them by cutting their benefits.

It’s a small but symbolic victory for the LGBT community in a state that was just burned by the anti-marriage equality decision at the 6th Circuit. And it has huge ramifications for the couples involved.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Michigan.

Mississippi Marriage Equality Hearing Held

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Mississippi MapA federal judge in Mississippi heard a marriage equality case yesterday.

WAPT reports:

One of the couples involved in the lawsuit, Carla Webb and Joce Pritchett, married in Maine last year and are raising their children in Jackson. They want legal recognition and protection for their family… The lawsuit, which was filed Oct. 20 by Webb and Pritchett; Rebecca Bickett and her longtime partner, Andrea Sanders, who were denied a Mississippi marriage license earlier this year; and a gay-rights group, Campaign for Southern Equality, alleges that Mississippi violates constitutional rights of gays and lesbians and denies same-sex couples the “rights, benefits and duties that automatically come with marriage.” The attorney general and governor said Mississippi’s marriage laws don’t discriminate.

Apparently, the hearing did not go well for the state.

Joe.My.God reports:

Via the Clarion-Ledger: New York-based attorney Roberta Kaplan presented a rapid-fire case for her clients, which include two Mississippi same-sex couples with children: Carla Webb and Joce Pritchett; and Rebecca Bickett and Andrea Sanders. At times excusing herself for speaking too quickly, Kaplan rattled off her reasons why she believes the state’s gay-marriage ban violates the constitution and her clients’ rights and padded her arguments with documented case law. Kaplan’s style was sharply contrasted by that of lead counsel for the state, Justin Matheny, who at times seemed to stumble through his arguments and admitted an unfamiliarity with many of the issues at hand. “When I found out I would be the one to come to court and argue this case, I had to do some research,” Matheny said near the opening of his remarks, eliciting a chuckle or two from the packed courtroom.

Judge: “What is the state’s rational basis that same-sex couples can’t marry and its prohibition of same sex couples from adopting children when all a child wants is to be loved, and they don’t care by whom?” Matheny: “Responsible procreation.” Judge: “You allow people in prison to be married, and there are no more conjugal visits. Old people can marry and they can’t bear children.” Yeah, we’ve got this one.

Although the judge expedited the hearing in the case, he gave no indication how soon he would rule.

The Clarion Ledger reports:

After hearing both sides, Reeves told the court he would take the matter under advisement and rule as soon as possible, but he gave no indication about how soon that would be. If he grants the injunction without a stay, gay marriage in Mississippi immediately would be legal — at least temporarily. If Reeves also issues a stay, it would cancel out the injunction for a period of time to be determined in the court order. Reeves could set a specific time line for the stay, like three days, or could pin its expiration on the outcome of another court decision, like the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling on the pending Texas and Louisiana same-sex marriage ban cases.

So now, once again, we wait.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Mississippi.