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Hearing set for November 12 in Mississippi marriage equality case

A hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction has been set for November 12 in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant, a federal challenge to Mississippi’s law banning same-sex marriage.

Read more about the Mississippi marriage equality case at www.southernequality.org/litigation.

“By setting the schedule that it did, the Court clearly appreciated the need for expedition on issues of such great constitutional and practical import,” says lead counsel Roberta Kaplan.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs is Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.  Plaintiffs are also represented by Mississippi attorney Robert McDuff of McDuff & Byrd, based in Jackson, Mississippi.

Becky and Andrea

“My family is no less a family than any other,” said plaintiff Rebecca Bickett, who has been with her partner, Andrea Sanders, for ten years. The women are mothers to young twin sons. Like many other LGBT families in the state, they have not been able to afford the expenses required to travel out of Misissippi to wed.

Carla and Joce

“It’s time we are able to live with legal protections in our home state,” said plaintiff Jocelyn Pritchett. “We love Mississippi – it is home for us and we have many beautiful friends and family members here. We hope to help create a Mississippi that reflects the hospitality of her people – by creating a legally safe environment for all Mississippi families.”

 

Amendment One Struck Down by Judge Cogburn

On Friday, October 10 United States District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. struck down Amendment One, granting LGBT couples in North Carolina the freedom to marry.

First license

(Amy and Laruen receive the first marriage license granted to an LGBT couple in North Carolina.)

“LGBT families in North Carolina will now be treated as equal under the law in North Carolina –  a day that so many have fought so hard for. For two years too long Amendment One was on the the books, but now we celebrate knowing that this shameful chapter in North Carolina’s history has passed. At the same time we know that you can still be fired simply for being gay in North Carolina. Protection from discrimination in the workplace is the next step in our push for full equality,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.

General Synod of the UCC v. Reisinger is the case that won marriage equality in North Carolina and CSE is honored to be part of the team behind this case. The Campaign for Southern Equality  has run the public education campaign accompanying the case and is leading fundraising efforts for the Legal Fund.

Can you give $25 right now to cover the legal costs in the case that struck down Amendment One?

Checks can be mailed to:
Campaign for Southern Equality
P.O. Box 364
Asheville, NC, 28802
Please designate “Amendment One Challenge” in memo line.

JakeSussman-2

 

Standing with LGBT families in states still waiting for marriage equality

On October 16, Matt and Raymie will apply for a marriage license in Morristown, Tennessee. Despite recent victories for marriage equality in other Southern states, Tennessee still prohibits the freedom to marry for LGBT couples. Through the WE DO Campaign, we stand with couples in their hometowns across the South to call for equality under the law.

Watch what happened when Matt and Raymie applied for a license the first time:


Supporting LGBT couples in South Carolina, where marriage equality could be a reality soon

On October 15 a new federal lawsuit was announced in South Carolina!

“Lambda Legal and South Carolina Equality filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday seeking immediate recognition of same-gender marriages in the state, following last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to take up appellate cases ont the issue.” Read the whole story at Q Notes.

A previously filed case by U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs (Bradacs v. Haley) is also advancing. Read more about that case.

LGBT Couples Apply for Marriage Licenses in Greenville, South Carolina

On July 28, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The same day South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced he would continue to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

lined up around the block

(Supporters of the couples lined up around the block to walk to Probate Court with the couples.)

Just two days later, five LGBT couples living in South Carolina went to the Probate Court in Greenville to apply for marriage licenses as part of the WE DO Campaign.

Click here to meet the 5 couples who took action and see a photo round-up of the day.

(Neil and Ronald hold hands as they wait to apply behind Brianna and Rachel.)

(Neil and Ronald hold hands as they wait to apply behind Brianna and Rachel.)

LGBT Couples Across Mississippi Record Marriage Licenses on August 13

On August 13, couples in eight Mississippi counties recorded their out-of-state marriage licenses with their local chancery clerks, creating a public record of married LGBT. In Harrison County, three couples were denied the right to record their marriage licenses.

The Washington Blade reported on why married couples in Mississippi are taking this step.

<i>Dee and Charlene have been together for 27 years.</i>

(Dee and Charlene have been together for 27 years.)

“We feel it is our duty to contribute however we can,” Charlene says. Dee and Charlene, who have been together since 1986, hope that recording their marriage license in Hinds County will bring awareness to the fact that married same-sex couples live in Mississippi, but aren’t treated equally under state law.

The couple didn’t plan on being married outside of Mississippi, but they had the opportunity to have a wedding thanks to the efforts of their family and friends. Dee’s nephew turned over his frequent flier miles to the couple, and they had their wedding in a friend’s living room in Massachusetts in 2013.

The Campaign for Southern Equality mobilizes people all across the South – from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi to the Piedmont of North Carolina – to stand up and tell our country a new story about the urgent need for full LGBT equality in all spheres of life – employment, housing, health care, family rights and marriage.