John M. Becker

Edie Windsor's Lawyer Sues Mississippi for Marriage

Filed By John M. Becker | October 20, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, lawsuit, marriage equality, Mississippi, Roberta Kaplan, same-sex marriage

roberta-kaplan-headshot.jpgVia press release from the Campaign for Southern Equality:

A federal challenge to Mississippi's law banning same-sex marriage was filed today in the Southern District of Mississippi on behalf of two same-sex couples, - Andrea Sanders and Rebecca Bickett, and Jocelyn Pritchett and Carla Webb - and the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE). Campaign for Southern Equality, et. al. v. Bryant, et. al. challenges the constitutionality of marriage laws in Mississippi that ban marriage between same-sex couples and deny recognition of same-sex marriages performed out of state.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs is Roberta Kaplan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Plaintiffs are also represented by Mississippi attorney Robert McDuff of McDuff & Byrd, based in Jackson, Mississippi. Kaplan was also lead counsel in United States v. Windsor, the landmark case that struck down sections of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued in June 2013. The Windsor ruling resulted in the federal government recognizing same-sex marriages and paved the way for federal judges and U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals to strike down state laws banning marriage from coast to coast.

"As the lawyers who represented Edie Windsor, we are so honored to be able to file this case today on behalf of Rebecca Bickett, Andrea Sanders, Jocelyn Pritchett, Carla Webb, and the Campaign for Southern Equality. The Supreme Court took a gigantic step forward last year in Windsor, and since then, dozens of courts around the country have followed suit so that today, gay people in thirty-two states have the right to marry. It is now time to take the next big step by making sure that gay families in Mississippi are accorded these same protections. The Supreme Court has made it clear that no matter where a gay person lives --whether it is in Maine, Minnesota, or Mississippi--our Constitution requires that they be treated with the same dignity and respect under the law as everyone else," says lead counsel Roberta Kaplan.

Mississippi already has a marriage equality lawsuit pending in state court, but this is the state's first federal freedom-to-marry case. The Campaign for Southern Equality says they believe the federal route will be "the swiftest path to equality for families in Mississippi."

A copy of the lawsuit is after the break, via Equality Case Files.

3:14-cv-00818 Complaint by Equality Case Files

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