Good news from the South.
A federal judge in Mississippi snatches out a silly piece of Mississippi’s HB 1523. Judge Carlton Reeves ruled that county clerks cannot cite their raggedy religious beliefs as a valid legal reason to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Reeves is extending his previous order that overturned Mississippi's ban on same-sex marriage. He says circuit clerks are required to provide equal treatment for all couples, gay or straight.
Mississippi's religious objections measure, House Bill 1523, was filed in response to last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide. That ruling is called the Obergefell case, after the man who filed it.
"Mississippi's elected officials may disagree with Obergefell, of course, and may express that disagreement as they see fit — by advocating for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision, for example," Reeves wrote Monday. "But the marriage license issue will not be adjudicated anew after every legislative session."
Attorneys were still waiting on rulings from Reeves in two other lawsuits seeking to block all of the religious objections law, including provisions that could affect schools' bathroom policies for transgender students.