Harrison County Circuit Clerk weighs in on issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Harrison County Circuit Clerk weighs in on issuing same-sex marriage licenses

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Circuit clerks in South Mississippi haven't taken a public stand against issuing marriage licenses like the clerk in Kentucky.

Harrison County Circuit Clerk Gayle Parker and says it's her job to uphold laws regardless of what her personal feelings might be.

"I took an oath to uphold the laws of the Constitution and the laws of Mississippi and the oath tells me that I have to abide by the laws of the state," said Parker.

Since the Supreme Court ruling in June, 55 marriage licenses have been issued to same-sex partners in Harrison County. Parker says she's seen no problems from anyone concerning the issue.

"There were a few clerks at the beginning when the law was passed that were kind of upset about it, but they realized that it's just something that they have to do," said Parker.

Jennifer Smith works in the Harrison County Clerk's office and has issued several licenses to same-sex couples. She was unsure how people would react.

"Of course I was nervous how people would accept it," said Smith. "More so people in here at the time when someone comes in here to apply, but everybody's been really respectful and nice."

Although a circuit clerk in Grenada County decided to resign earlier this year rather than issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, Smith said it's not her place to interject her opinion or personal beliefs when she's in the office.

"There's other things that we might not agree with that we still have to do everyday because it's the law," said Smith. "So we're here to serve everyone equally."

Along with Harrison County's same-sex marriage license numbers Jackson County has issued 15, Hancock County seven, Pearl River four and Stone County hasn't issued any.

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