University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Alford v. Moulder PB-MS-0006
Docket / Court 3:16-cv-00350-DPJ-FKB ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On May 9, 2016, the Mississippi chapter of the ACLU and two gay individuals contemplating marriage filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued the state of Mississippi under 42 U.S.C §1983 and the due process and equal protection ... read more >
On May 9, 2016, the Mississippi chapter of the ACLU and two gay individuals contemplating marriage filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued the state of Mississippi under 42 U.S.C §1983 and the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, including a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from taking effect on July 1, 2016, along with attorneys' fees.

The plaintiffs challenged Mississippi House Bill 1523, the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act (HB 1523). HB 1523 was passed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges; it grants broad protections to private business owners and government officials who don’t want to provide services to same-sex married couples based on their sincerely held religious beliefs. Plaintiffs alleged that these protections make it more difficult for same-sex married couples to get services than different-sex married couples, and thus impose burdens on same-sex married couples not faced by different-sex married couples. The plaintiffs argued that these burdens violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, which—consistent with Obergefell—require that states allow same-sex couples access to civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as different-sex couples.

On June 20, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton W. Reeves denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction against H.B. 1523, stating that for the extraordinary remedy of preliminary injunction, there must be a substantial threat of immediate, irreparable harm to the plaintiffs if the injunction weren't in effect. Because the couple declared they planned to marry in the next three years, Judge Reeves stated, their risk of injury was not imminent. (2016 WL 3449911).

However, ten days later, on June 30, 2016 Judge Reeves granted a preliminary injunction of H.B. 1523 in another suit, Barber v. Bryant (2016 WL 3562647) which benefits these plaintiffs as well.

On August 8, 2016, the defendant filed a motion to request a stay in this case until the resolution of Barber v. Bryant and Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant, two cases (which were consolidated) in the Southern District of Mississippi also challenging H.B. 1523.

On October 17, 2016, Judge Reeves granted the defendant's motion for a stay. Outcome of this case will be pending the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's ruling in the Barber case.

Ryan Berry - 05/31/2016
Kelly Ehrenreich - 10/19/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Adoption
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Government Services (specify)
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Mississippi
Plaintiff Description Same sex couples denied service by private businesses and government officials and the ACLU of Mississippi
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-MS-0004 : Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant (S.D. Miss.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Limited Partnership
http://www.limitedpartnershipmovie.com/
By: Thomas G. Miller
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States Government says L.A. Gay Couple’s 1975 Marriage is Valid
The Pride L.A.
Written: Jun. 07, 2016
By: Troy Masters
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:16-cv-00350-DPJ-FKB (S.D. Miss.) 10/17/2016
PB-MS-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/09/2016
PB-MS-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
District Court Judge Order Denying Preliminary Injunction 06/20/2016 (2016 WL 3449911) (S.D. Miss.)
PB-MS-0006-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order to Stay Case 10/17/2016 (S.D. Miss.)
PB-MS-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
Judges Jordan, Daniel Porter III (S.D. Miss.)
PB-MS-0006-9000
Reeves, Carlton Wayne (S.D. Miss.)
PB-MS-0006-0002 | PB-MS-0006-0003 | PB-MS-0006-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Block, Joshua A (New York)
PB-MS-0006-9000
Cooper, Leslie (New York)
PB-MS-0006-9000
Diaz, Oliver E Jr. (Mississippi)
PB-MS-0006-0001 | PB-MS-0006-9000
Wu, Paloma (Mississippi)
PB-MS-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Miracle, Douglas T. (Mississippi)
PB-MS-0006-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -