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MISSISSUCKY

In Mississippi, Don’t Even Try To Have A Gay Commitment Ceremony On State Grounds

Forget about getting gay married in Mississippi—voters in the state passed a constitutional ban by a 6-1 margin in November 2004. But maybe the Hospitality State will at least allow gay commitment ceremonies on state grounds?

Nope! Fiancés Kevin Garrard and Stephen Walters expressed interest last week in using a church at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson for a private commitment ceremony. Their request was denied, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

We don’t know which is less surprising: that such a homophobic state turned down their request, or that a public museum in God-fearing Mississippi has a church.

“We were turned away for being homosexual,” Garrard told the Clarion-Ledger. “I understand that it is illegal for gay people to get married, but it shouldn’t be illegal for us to love each other.”

Agriculture and Commerce Department spokesperson Andy Prosser said that even though the ceremony would not create a real marriage, it was close enough.

Said Prosser: “Commitment events, as far as the state goes, are a representation of a union, and state law says that a union can only be between a man and a woman.”

Prosser also referenced a 2009 statement from MS Attorney General Jim Hood, which addressed a similar gay-ceremony-on-state-property request.

“We are of the opinion that the Department (of Agriculture and Commerce) is certainly authorized to restrict the use of museum property for events and functions that are legal under state law,” Hood wrote. “Therefore, (the department) is authorized to prohibit same gender marriages on museum property.”

The gay couple has repeatedly reiterated that they’re not trying to stage a faux marriage.

“We’re not actually getting married; we’re just committing ourselves to one another. There is no paperwork,” Walters said.”I don’t know what the difference is between our scenario and a barbeque.”

The difference is: barbeques are a God-sanctioned tradition of the American people!

Photo via Mediacutts

  • 13 Comments
    • cletus
      cletus

      The only thing people can marry in mississippi is their cousins or barn yard pets.

      hahahaha

      Feb 21, 2012 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      When is the gay community going to start a vocal “Do Not Patrionize” campaign against these States or company’s. A list of anti-gay States and company should be posted on ALL gay web sites. It’s all about money and when States and companys start losing money or get negitive press things start to change. How about it Queerty?

      Feb 21, 2012 at 11:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Macmantoo
      Macmantoo

      Dawson, I really don’t think a boycott would work. There are too many states it would have to be applied to. However in the case of the Mississippi couple I would go after the state. This couple are more than likely taxpayers in that state. I think it’s would be safe to say that as taxpayers they’re being denied they’re rights to use state property that they helped paid for. I think we need to start sueing the states for our “taxpayers rights”.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      The “new” South.
      Just like the old South.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drdanfee
      drdanfee

      Hmm, well … this whole business just seems to confirm what many of us have long suspected. What’s that? (Glad you asked.) The rationale of “protecting one man/one woman marriage” has little or no real life effects on straight citizens. The law – and the public policy or public regulations which result from the law – serves mainly to punish, prohibit, and otherwise demean same sex couples, particularly couples who are serious enough about caring for each other that they wish to make a commitment to do so lifelong, in front of an audience which is typically assembled from family members, friends, coworkers, classmates, and/or other allies who know the couple up close and personal, and thus who are best suited to recognize, celebrate, and support the couple in such a serious commitment. Basically, acknowledging such serious commitment to life together among the prohibited couples is way too close to fair; so bravo for the demeaning of couples who care enough to commit to each other in front of family, friends, and others related to them. Perhaps Mississipi would much prefer to criminalize the couple, but alas, the USA Supreme Court struck down all state ‘laws against gays getting intimate’ as unconstitutional, even going so far as to note that one or another type of bias or bad faith citizenship is likely to help fuel the legal and public policy animosity. Alas. Lord have mercy. Love, like the Holy Spirit, cannot always be quenched. Thank goodness, thank God. drdanfee

      Feb 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim Hlavac
      Jim Hlavac

      Ah, boycotts are not the way to go for gays, ain’t enough of us, and they want us to stay away. No, let’s do BUYcotts — let’s all go down to the most egregious places and have a big ol’ gay time, spread lots of cash with “gay money” stamped on it, lounge around in public holding hands, check into hotels as couples, stroll down the streets as couple. And be darn polite about it. Not even protests. Just run of the mill tourism by gay folks. Show ‘em what decency looks like.

      Meanwhile, yes, too, sue on the basis of Denial of Religious Freedom, and as taxpayers denied equal access. Yep, the old “we can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” concept would do much better. Hell, what’s to stop this particular gay couple from just going to the park with their friends and family and the person doing the ceremony? What, are we to be denied freedom of assembly too? You know, no more than 1 gay person at a time anywhere. Egads. Enough of this nonsense and merely begging politicians – let’s go on down to the people and say hello!

      Meanwhile, I found that Natchez Mississippi is so gay-friendly it’s ridiculously fun, and so not all Mississippi is the same, as no other state is all the same either.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clay
      Clay

      You can sign a petition for these two young men here:

      http://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-ms-allow-gay-couple-to-hold-a-wedding-commitment-ceremony-on-state-grounds

      Feb 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nikki
      Nikki

      @cletus: @Jim Hlavac: Bwahahaha BUYCOTTS best idea ever! I love the way you think!

      Feb 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TASTEY GOODIES
      TASTEY GOODIES

      @Jim Hlavac: @cletus: THE 1ST
      THING THAT CUMS 2 MIND (PUN INTENDED) IS DELIVERENCE, BE-ATCHES!!!! TOTALLY RAD IDEA, JIMBO! THOSE IDEAS MUST B IMPLEMENTED PRONTO. ALL 2GETHER NOW “BOOM!!! IT’S ON!”.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wc1
      wc1

      Fucking move from Mississippi.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 9:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • beergoggles
      beergoggles

      Or whack them with a lawsuit. States need to spend money to defend their bigoted laws in court. Easiest way to pull this off off is claim the ceremony is protest of the state’s law. Request a permit for the protest. Sue the state when the permit is denied for a first amendment violation. Sue these bigoted states till they can’t afford to keep their corrupt republicans in office in the manner in which they have become accustomed.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jean
      Jean

      This is religious discrimination if the couple wants to have a commitment ceremony sanctioned by their gay-accepting church or synagogue.

      Feb 22, 2012 at 12:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Beau
      Beau

      @Jim Hlavac: Love your idea and your positive wording. It’s hard to be gay, and it’s hard to be Southern; let’s show a little love for both while we kill ‘em naysayers with kindness. Mighty hard to be too angry with so many pleases and thank yous flying around.

      Feb 22, 2012 at 6:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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