Legislators in southern states in the U.S. are continuing to hold off on allowing same sex marriages to take place, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 26 that definitively approves the practice nation-wide.
While states such as Michigan that held a same-sex marriage ban previously are now abiding by the Court’s decision, counties in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Louisiana have been slow to implement change since the ruling.
In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton ordered local authorities to not issue any marriage licenses for same-sex couples until he authorized clerks to do so, according to Time. Since Friday’s ruling, Paxton has yet to respond or reverse his previous decision. However, areas of the Lone Star State that typically vote for the Democratic Party, such as Dallas, have begun the process of issuing licenses.
Mississippi’s Attorney General Jim Hood is waiting for the local federal court to tell county clerks to begin issuing licenses, instead of authorizing the licenses himself. The state’s judiciary chairman, Andy Gipson, said that the state should not issue licenses at all to protest the Court’s ruling.
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Right next to Mississippi is Alabama, where they are also defying the Court’s federal mandate. Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the state’s Supreme Court, has not halted clerks from issuing licenses to same-sex couples, but other judges have stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples.
In Louisiana, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal (also a 2016 presidential candidate) is the sole authority over issuing marriage licenses in the state’s largest city, New Orleans. However, he already declared that the city will not be allowed to issue licenses to same-sex couples until the local federal court orders him to do so. Moreover, the state’s Attorney General Buddy Caldwell told the 63 other parishes in the state to hold off on issuing license for 25 days, according to the Atlanta Journal.
“We’re going to do that for several reasons. A lot of things need to be put in place. There are possibly some state’s issues that need to be put in place,” Fred Sliman, a spokesperson for the clerk’s office in Baton Rouge, said about the state’s ongoing practices.
Opponents of the Court’s ruling claim that religious beliefs and liberties are being stripped away as now all states must recognize same-sex unions.
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In the past, same sex marriages opponents have been sued for vocally expressing their discomfort in providing a service for a same-sex couple. For example, a florist in Washington was sued by a same-sex couple in 2012 for refusing to provide flowers for the couple’s wedding.
In New Mexico, a photographer was sued by a same-sex couple for choosing not to work the couple's wedding.
Earlier this year, a small restaurant in Indiana was vilified for stating that they would not cater a same-sex couple's wedding, stating their religious beliefs as the reason, Bloomberg reported.
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