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US: ACLU files a brief for same-sex Mississippi divorce case

John DeLamar September 26, 2014
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Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief with the state of Mississippi asking it to recognise a same-sex marriage in order to grant the couple a divorce.

The brief, filed with the Mississippi Supreme Court, argues that to deny the couple a divorce would be a violation of their constitutional right to due process and equal protection.

The couple, Lauren Czekala-Chatham and Dana Ann Melancon were married in San Francisco in 2008 and bought a house in Mississippi before the couple decided to separate in 2010.

When they sought a legal divorce they were told by Judge Mitchell Lundy Jr that the Mississippi constitution prevented him from granting the divorce as the state does not recognise their marriage.

Joshua Block, staff attorney for the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Project, said in a release that this case highlights the kind of harm that can be experienced by same-sex couples as a result of varying state laws.

He said: “The unfair patchwork of state marriage laws presents unique legal challenges across the country… This case again shows the real and concrete harm caused by treating same-sex couples differently state by state and why we are supporting the right of all Mississippians to make important decisions about their relationships.”

The Mississippi Supreme Court has not yet ruled on whether it will hear the case or make judgment on it.

Currently, there is a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Mississippi.

More: Americas, Mississippi, same sex marriage, same-sex divorce, San Francisco, US

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