On March 11, 2010, a school board in the town of Fulton, Mississippi, announced that its upcoming high school prom would have to be canceled. The cause for concern? The notice came shortly after a gay student challenged a school policy and requested to bring her girlfriend to the event, naturally, as her date. She also wanted to wear a tuxedo, which was also against school policy. This seemingly minor decision, however, should give onlookers a general idea of where the state majority stands on Mississippi gay rights, and more specifically, on the same-sex Mississippi marriage debate.
In Mississippi, marriage for same-sex partnerships was officially banned in a constitutional amendment on November 2, 2004. Mississippi was joined by ten other predominantly conservative Midwestern states that day, and any hopes that the Mississippi gay community had for same-sex partnership rights, quickly came to a standstill when the bill was passed, as predicted, by a shocking 86% majority vote.
The decision came just a few months after the state of Massachusetts made history by being the first in the nation to allow gay, lesbian, and transgender couples to legally marry and receive marital rights. Although Mississippi already had an anti-gay marriage statute enacted almost a decade beforehand in 1997, conservatives wanted the institution of Mississippi marriage to be defined as a strictly heterosexual institution yet again, and they wanted it clearly stated, this time around, in their constitution. Although the amendment does not necessarily ban civil unions, or any other legal protections for that matter, a Mississippi marriage for same-sex couples is temporarily out of the question.
Despite the hardships that the Mississippi gay community is forced to face for the present time, there is at least some rights given to the homosexual residents of the state by allowing Mississippi gay singles to adopt a child within its borders. Adoption by Mississippi gay couples, however, is still not permitted. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact Mississippi lawyers.