Gay Couple Records Legal Marriage License in Mississippi Creating First Known Public Record of Same-Sex Marriage in State
(March 24, 2014) – On March 24, Anna Guillot and Chrissy Kelly, a same-sex couple, paid $12 to record their legal marriage license at the Rankin County Chancery Clerk’s Office – the first known time that a gay couple has created a public record of their marriage in Mississippi. The couple, who live in Rankin County, were married in New York on July 13, 2012. Their marriage is recognized by the federal government and a growing number of states. However, Mississippi law refuses to recognize same-sex marriage; as a result married couples like Ms. Guillot and Ms. Kelly are regarded as legal strangers in their home state.
“We’re just like anybody else. We love each other and we want to be treated the same as everyone else,” said Ms. Guillot. “We want people to know they are not alone. There are gay couples here in Rankin County,” added Ms. Kelly.
Beginning in 2011, same-sex couples have recorded their legal marriage licenses in North Carolina and Alabama, as part of the Campaign for Southern Equality’s WE DO Campaign, a growing campaign that calls for full equality for LGBT people. “Couples like Anna and Chrissy are doing everything in their power to have their marriage recognized – including creating a public record of their marriage. Now no one can deny the reality of their marriage, their love or their commitment. We are calling for Mississippi to treat LGBT people equally under the law,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.
The WE DO Campaign will continue tomorrow morning. At approximately 10 a.m. on March 25th same-sex couples will request marriage licenses at the Hinds County Courthouse. This action will continue weeks of intense focus on LGBT issues in Mississippi, following successful efforts by LGBT rights advocates, including CSE, to strip a proposed legislation (SB 2681) of language that would license discrimination against LGBT individuals.
Jackson Free Press