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Marriage Equality

PHOTOS: Wedding Bells (Finally) Ring in the South

PHOTOS: Wedding Bells (Finally) Ring in the South


As same-sex couples tie the knot in Mississippi and Louisiana, Alabama residents are still facing legal uncertainty about their ability to marry someone of the same sex.

As county clerks' offices opened across the southern U.S. Monday morning, same-sex couples flooded in obtain marriage licenses.

The Campaign for Southern Equality, which has been fighting for visibility and equality of LGBT people in the South for years, was on-hand to capture the joyful moments that Southerners in same-sex relationships were able to get hitched in courthouses throughout the state. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood confirmed in a letter to county clerks Monday morning that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling is in effect, meaning same-sex couples must be issued marriage licenses in all counties in the state.

And despite Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's best efforts to block the Supreme Court ruling in his state, same-sex couples are getting married in at least four parishes across Louisiana, reports Jaquetta White, who covers City Hall for the New Orleans Advocate.

Same-sex couples were welcomed to the courthouse in Jackson, Miss., by rainbow flags:

Meanwhile, same-sex couples in Alabama are still living in a state of legal confusion. The Alabama Supreme Court did not directly order probate judges (who are responsible for issuing marriage licenses) in the state to stop issuing licenses to same-sex couples, though the court's latest order also did not require probate judges to issue such licenses to same-sex couples. BuzzFeed's legal editor, Chris Geidner, notes that the latest order from the Alabama Supreme Court appears to request a hearing on an earlier order from the court which did, in fact, halt marriage equality in Alabama. That briefing is expected to take place today and could clarify the issue.

"There is no justification for delaying or obstructing the clear message of the Supreme Court of the United States -- marriage equality must begin in Alabama, and probate judges who stand in the way of that legal imperative risk exposing themselves to legal consequences," said Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow in a statement Monday. "There is zero chance of marriage equality being reheard by the Supreme Court -- particularly given that all four states that were parties in this case have accepted the outcome -- and as a result the Court's holding in Obergefell v. Hodges should be implemented across the country immediately."

Scroll down to see photos of newlyweds in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Aaron and Michael (below) are happy husbands as they exchange vows in Jackson, Miss.


Celeste Meehan Swaim (below, left) and Bobbi Gray were the first same-sex couple to obtain a marriage license in Jackson.

Cyndi and Evelyn Lott tied the knot in Jackson.

But it wasn't just Mississippi -- same-sex couples were getting hitched in Louisiana too. Earl and Michael Benjamin-Robinson were the first same-sex couple to be married in New Orleans Monday, reports the New Orleans Advocate'sWhite. Judge Paula Brown, who presided over their ceremony, congratulated the couple on "achieving marriage equality and showing your love in an eternal way," reports White. Friends cheered as the men entered the New Orleans courtroom.

The first same-sex couple to be legally married in Louisiana was Alesia LeBoeuf and Celeste Autin, according to Chad Calder, another reporter from the New Orleans Advocate.

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