State politicians speak on state flag, same-sex marriage - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

State politicians speak on state flag, same-sex marriage

Gov. Phil Bryant, State Auditor Stacey Pickering and Attorney General candidate Mike Hurst. Gov. Phil Bryant, State Auditor Stacey Pickering and Attorney General candidate Mike Hurst.
Governor Phil Bryant, State Auditor Stacey Pickering, and candidate for attorney general Mike Hurst. Governor Phil Bryant, State Auditor Stacey Pickering, and candidate for attorney general Mike Hurst.
JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

The past few weeks have been huge nationally as well as locally. In Mississippi, many have advocated to change the state flag because of the Confederate emblem. The call to do so started right after a church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

“How in the world do we represent history if we're removing all of the confederate symbols?” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “If we're going to change it it's going to be up to the people to do it again. I don't think the legislative body has that power or desire.”

“I'm hoping that this issue does get brought up and does get resolved in a very real way, in a very good way that reflects good on Mississippi come January,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said.  

Also a concern for some state officials and politicians is the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

“The Supreme Court a number of years ago started changing the constitution without the consent of the American people,” said Charles Pickering, a retired federal judge. “The Declaration of Independence says that the just powers that government exercises are those with the consent of the people.”

“Basically five unelected attorneys have usurp our authority as Americans to decide what our values are,” said Mike Hurst, Republican candidate for Attorney General.

The decision has left clerks in several counties confused on how to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples.

In Jones County, no marriage licenses have been issued. Circuit Clerk Bart Gavin along with others have sent a letter to Attorney Gen. Jim Hood asking for better guidance. The letter said, "We can be found liable for not issuing or wrongfully issuing a license and are asking for directions on how to properly proceed.”

“We need some leadership in that office to provide some direction to our circuit clerks,” Hurst said. “I'm a conservative, I’m a Republican, I’m for traditional marriage. It's a sad state of affairs that our current attorney general is for gay marriage and we need to change that."

Several clerks met with the attorney general Wednesday. Gavin said Jones County will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning Thursday.

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