Gay Marriages Won't Begin Immediately In Mississippi, State Attorney General Says

Same-sex marriages won't begin immediately in Mississippi, the state's attorney general said Friday.

In a statement, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D) said the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide would not go into effect in his state until the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals lifts a stay on a ruling handed down last year striking down the state's gay marriage ban.

"This could come quickly or may take several days," Hood said.

Hood clarified the stance in a later statement.

"The Office of the Attorney General is certainly not standing in the way of the Supreme Court's decision," Hood said. "We simply want to inform our citizens of the procedure that takes effect after this ruling. The Supreme Court decision is the law of the land and we do not dispute that. When the 5th Circuit lifts the stay of Judge Reeves' order, it will become effective in Mississippi and circuit clerks will be required to issue same-sex marriage licenses.”

Earlier Friday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that under the Fourteenth Amendment all states must recognize same-sex unions and issue marriage licenses to gay couples. The landmark ruling will overturn laws in 13 states banning gay marriage. Some counties, including in Georgia and Nebraska, began issuing licenses immediately.

Mississippi's gay marriage ban was overturned by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves in November 2014, but the ruling was put on hold as the state appealed.

This story has been updated to include Hood's second statement.



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