The ability of gay couples to be legally married in Mississippi is now up to a federal judge in Jackson. The Judge heard over five hours of oral argument on the constitutionality of the gay marriage ban.
Waiving signs reading 'love will win' supporters cheer the two lesbian couples and the team of attorneys who are pushing to over-turn Mississippi's ten year old ban on same sex marriage.
Lead Attorney Roberta Kaplan says Gay Mississippians deserve the same dignity as straight couples, a message she thinks judge Carlton Reeves understands.
“I am feeling very good. I think the judge really heard and understood our arguments. I think he gets it. That is not a surprise because I think most people do. And I think we will prevail,” Kaplan said.
Attorneys for the state urged caution saying striking down the ban would undermine Mississippians support of the court system and unleash unforeseen legal consequences.
State Attorney Justin Matheney said quote ‘when you ask if same sex marriage has ever been a fundamental right, I think the answer is 'no'".
Judge Reeves appeared receptive to the arguments against the marriage ban sometimes asking dismissive questions that drew laughter from the supportive crowd that filled the court gallery.
Reeves also said he as an obligation to quote 'defend the United States Constitution' and saying if the court didn't act quote 'we could be here in 2031 or 2131'.
Gina Pierce and her wife Jennifer sat through the whole hearing hoping that their out of state marriage would soon be recognized in Mississippi.
“We have a six-year old that we are wanting to adopt who wants to share our last name. This is a huge day for our family. We wanted to be on the right side of history and we want to be here the day history was made,” Pierce said.
It is unclear when the judge will issue his ruling.
It is highly likely that the state will appeal or that a higher court will put it on hold on the ruling meaning it could still be sometime before the case is resolved.