On October 20, 2014, the Campaign for Southern Equality and two same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi under 42 U.S.C § 1983 against the State of Mississippi. The Campaign for Southern Equality is a non-profit organization ...
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On October 20, 2014, the Campaign for Southern Equality and two same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi under 42 U.S.C § 1983 against the State of Mississippi. The Campaign for Southern Equality is a non-profit organization based in North Carolina that works to promote the legalization of same-sex marriage. The two couples live in Mississippi, one seeks to get married in the state and the other seeks to have their marriage, performed in another part of the country, legally recognized in the state. The plaintiffs asked the court to preliminarily and permanently enjoin the state from enforcing Mississippi Code Section 93-1-1(2) and Section 236A of Article 14 of the Constitution of Mississippi, claiming that by defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, the laws deprive same-sex couples of the right to due process and the equal protection of the laws in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The plaintiffs also sought the costs, expenses, and attorneys' fees related to the lawsuit.
On November 25, 2014, the United States District Court (Judge Carlton W. Reeves) entered an order enjoining the enforcement of Mississippi Code Section 93-1-1(2) and Section 236A of Article 14 of the Constitution of Mississippi. The court (Judge Reeves) found that Mississippi's ban on same sex marriage did violate the couples' rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The court stayed its decision for 14 days, to allow the state a chance to appeal. Campaign for S. Equality v. Brant, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, 2014 WL 6680570 (S.D. Miss. 2014).
On November 26, 2014, the State of Mississippi filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Court of Appeals stayed Judge Reeves' injunction pending resolution of the appeal. Campaign for S. Equality v. Bryant, 773 F.3d 55 (5th Cir. 2014). Oral arguments were heard on January 9, 2015.
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges (PB-OH-0003
in this Clearinghouse), holding that state bans on same-sex marriage violate the 14th Amendment. That same day, the plaintiffs in this
case filed a motion with the Court of Appeals seeking to have the stay lifted and the district court order summarily affirmed. The motion noted: "Defendant-Appellant Jim Hood, in his official capacity as Mississippi Attorney General, does not oppose this motion. Defendant-Appellant Phil Bryant, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Mississippi, opposes this motion." The case is ongoing.Thomas Topping - 02/01/2015