All but 10 of Mississippi's circuit clerks are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but one clerk is resigning due to her deeply held religious beliefs. Some conservative lawmakers are examining ways to stop any more gay marriages from taking place in the Magnolia state.
Grenada County Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette announced yesterday that she will resign her post rather than issue a marriage license to a gay couple. In a statement she says the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage is a violation of her core values as a Christian.
"What happens to some of these circuit clerks who’s deeply held religious convictions are being violated," says McDaniel. "There is going to be some very difficult decision being made by circuit clerks around the state."
That was Republican Senator Chris McDaniel of Ellisville. He and other top, conservative leaders have decried the ruling and have vowed to protect the religious liberty of Mississippians and Christians.
To do that, some lawmakers have suggested the state get out of the marriage business altogether by not issuing licenses to anyone.
Governor Phil Bryant says his office is trying to decide what the best path forward will be for the sovereignty of Mississippi.
"What we're trying to do now is trying to see what our next options may be," Bryant says, "for example, this decision just came out on Friday. We got the opinion on Friday afternoon. We just want to make sure whatever rights the state of Mississippi has, we exercise them."
Proponents of marriage equality say they hope the state's conservative leaders will eventually embrace the decision.