Mississippi reactions to DOMA and Prop 8 rulings - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

What do same-sex marriage decisions mean for MS?

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Gay marriage supporters say the Supreme Court's rulings only add fuel to the fire in their ongoing fight for equality. Gay marriage supporters say the Supreme Court's rulings only add fuel to the fire in their ongoing fight for equality.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Gay right activists in Mississippi celebrated Wednesday, but will the Supreme Court's rulings affect the Magnolia State?

With 86 percent of the vote, Mississippi passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 that says "marriage may take place and may be valid under the laws of this state only between a man and woman."

"And we will not recognize same sex marriages that are performed in other states," explained Forest Thigpen.

Thigpen works with the Mississippi Center for Public Policy and believes the definition is consistent.

"It's been the definition for thousands of years and for some people to want to call it something else doesn't make it marriage," Thigpen said.

Thigpen says the Supreme Court's decisions Wednesday won't have an effect on those standing Mississippi laws.

"In fact, it seems to have reinforced the right for states to define marriage however they want for the purpose of their own laws," Thigpen said.

Gay marriage supporters say the Supreme Court's decisions only add fuel to the fire in their ongoing fight for equality. Activist Eddie Outlaw saw the news while he was at work.

"Had a little mini breakdown right there," described Outlaw.

He believes the rulings will unify the LBGT community in new ways, and he remains hopeful about the future.

"Whether it happens by voter initiative or a case works its way back up through the courts and our ban is proved unconstitutional, I do believe that in my lifetime I will be able to marry my partner in the state of Mississippi and we will have the same benefits as heterosexual couples," Outlaw said,

Some same sex couples were married in other states and now live in Mississippi. For them, the decisions were much more than a headline.

"It was a matter of not just talking about ruling on laws but how that affects real people in real relationships," Lynn Bell explained.

The couple knows there are still roadblocks ahead in their fight for equality.

"The state not recognizing our marriage causes a lot of conflict just for us to live on a daily basis," Sara Bell said.

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