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Mississippians React to the U.S. Supreme Court Case on Gay Marriage

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 25 Mar 2013 06:16pm | comments
U.S. Supreme Court Chamber.

The battle over same sex marriage goes before the U.S. Supreme Court today. The court is considering whether states should be required to make same sex marriage legal. 

In 2004, Mississippi voters passed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage by 86 percent. Many analysts believe opposition still exceeds as much as 70 percent in the state. Today Mississippians will be paying close attention to a Supreme Court case that could determine the legality of same sex marriage. Mississippi College, Constitutional Law Professor Matt Steffy says the outcome is almost impossible to predict.

"For example I believe that even Chief Justice Roberts, even as a conservative doesn't want to be on the wrong side of history. And so I think even Chief Justice Roberts is likely to at least embrace a narrow ruling or no ruling, not a ruling that says there is no constitutional principal of equality that applies to gay marriage."

A recent ABC News poll found that 58 percent of Americans support legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples. But in some states, especially in the South, opposition remains strong. That's why Steffy believes it is unlikely that the high court will issue a  ruling mandating all states  recognize same sex marriages.

" I do think the courts experience with Roe v Wade may make it a little more reluctant to issue a 50 state ruling. But it is entirely possible and indeed perhaps likely that whatever the outcome is it will leave Mississippi unaffected."

Bishop Jeffrey Stallworth is the pastor of  Word and Worship non denominational Church in Jackson.  He says he is ready to follow the lead of the Episcopal Church which was among the first to recognize marriage for same sex couples. 

"If the state of Mississippi put it into law  we would be doing it here. We're going to follow the state. But as far as my belief, if I had to go somewhere else and bless a marriage I would do it."

While the support for gay marriage remains low in Mississippi national polls show an up-tick in support among the age group of 18 to 29. 



U.S. Supreme Court Chamber.



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