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MS Supreme Court Punts on Same-sex Divorce

Yesterday, the Mississippi Supreme court stayed a case before it challenging the trial court’s denial of a divorce to a same-sex couple lawfully married in California. The Court is awaiting a decision on similar issues by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the meantime, the Court asked counsel to submit briefs on the following question: “In light of Mississippi’s public policy of not allowing or recognizing a marriage between two persons of the same gender, what rational basis supports the interpretation or application of a law or constitutional provision so as to prohibit Mississippi courts from granting a divorce to a Mississippi resident who was lawfully married in another
state to a person of the same gender?”

The phrasing of the question leads one to wonder if the Court is not leaning towards the belief that if a couple is legally married in another state that the marriage must be recognized in Mississippi.