Circuit clerks prepare for judge's ruling on gay marriage

Circuit clerks prepare for judge's ruling on gay marriage

FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A United States District Judge is expected to rule as early as this week on Mississippi's gay marriage ban.

Forrest County Circuit Clerk Lou Ellen Adams said she is waiting on the state's direction for how to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if Judge Carlton Reeves rules in their favor.

"A lot of unknowns," said Adams, "so we're just sitting, and then we'll adapt to whatever the ruling is."

Adams said it would take a few weeks to change the wording on a marriage license and statistical form from the Mississippi Department of Health, so marriage applications would not be available the day of the judge's ruling.

"Of course, I can scratch it out," Adams laughed, referencing the words "bride" and "groom" on state records. "It doesn't look very professional, but I'll do whatever."

The circuit clerks have not been given guidance on what would happen to license adjustments if the judge overturned the ban, but Adams hopes a period of time would be allotted for the state and counties to print new materials.

"We would just need to adjust our forms accordingly, so that's my concern," she said.

Judge Reeves is expected to grant a preliminary injunction on Mississippi's same-sex marriage ban, which would be a result of a lawsuit against the state by the Campaign for Southern Equality. Reeves could also grant the injunction with a "stay," which would put a temporary hold on the ruling from taking effect.