In a groundbreaking ruling by a U.S. district judge, Alabama has become the 37th state to abolish the same-sex marriage ban.
According to the site Freedom to Marry, on Jan. 23, U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade ruled in favor of two Mobile women who had married in California, but wanted their marriage recognized in Alabama in order to adopt a child. Granade set a stay on the proceeding, set to expire Feb. 9.
However, this is not Granade’s only pro-marriage ruling. On Jan. 27, she struck down the state’s ban in a second case involving an unmarried same-sex couple that wishes to marry in Alabama.
Mississippi is no stranger to the freedom to marry struggle, with a recent U.S. District Court ruling on Nov. 24, 2014, that made denying the right to marry to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. That ruling was also issued with a stay and is being appealed by the state in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Many students believe that national acceptance of gay marriage is inevitable. A gay student at Southern Miss, who prefers to remain anonymous, said she thinks that one day it will not be an issue. “It’s going to happen eventually,” she said. “Mississippi may be the last state, but it will happen.”
“I really don’t think that it’s going to happen in Mississippi for a while, purely because our state is so religiously based,” said Rebecca Guy, a senior theatre major. “The majority (of voters) is going to be against it.”
Ann Marie Kinnell, a USM professor of sociology, agreed that the decision may take some time. “We’re talking about federal decisions, federal court cases for the four state area, including Mississippi,” she said. “Now that the Supreme Court has decided to pick it up, I don’t know. They held up Proposition 8 in California, but they didn’t hold up the Defense of Marriage Act.”
“It’s coming down to a states’ rights issue,” she said. “The states have unalienable rights that can’t be violated. However, in 40 years we’re going to look back and see (how foolish) we were.”
For more information on the states that allow gay marriage and the court proceedings, visit www.freedomtomarry.org.