Judge Blocks Part of Mississippi Same-Sex Marriage Law
Wendy Torrington (L) and Kimberly Moreno (R) of Long Beach, Mississippi, celebrate being the first same-sex couple to obtain a marriage license at Manhattan's City Clerk's Office July 24, 2011 in New York. On June 24 New York became the sixth state allowing same-sex marriages, today was the first day couples were allowed to obtain a license and participate in the wedding ceremony. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)STAN HONDA / AFP/Getty Images
By Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Mississippi clerks cannot cite their own religious beliefs to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves' ruling on Monday blocks the state from enforcing part of a religious objections bill that was supposed to become law Friday.
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.
Reeves has not yet ruled in two other lawsuits seeking to block all of the religious objections law, including provisions that could affect schools' bathroom policies for transgender students.