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Headlines show same-sex union issues far from resolved

It has been a wild several days when it comes to the very sensitive issue of same-sex relationships in the U.S. What the headlines of late reflect is that the subject is far from resolved, despite the recent ruling by the Supreme Court that same-sex marriage is legal.

Significant levels of uncertainty about what the law allows and does not has major implications for Mississippi individuals and couples with family law issues. Questions related to domestic partnerships, adoption and more abound and where they exist, consulting with experienced legal counsel is recommended.

If nothing else the developments reflect the complicated nature of the legal process. In Kentucky, you have a county court clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex and even some other-sex couples. She has opted to go to jail for contempt of court rather than go against what she says are her religious beliefs that homosexuality is a sin.

And in Tennessee, there is the county court judge who has used the June Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage as one reason for why he denied a divorce to a heterosexual couple in their 60s that wants to split after nearly 14 years of marriage.

To be fair, the judge's decision does say that he doesn't believe the couple made their cases for divorce on the grounds they claimed -- inappropriate marital conduct and irreconcilable differences. But he also used the case to state that the Supreme Court's ruling overturning state constitution definitions of marriage also throws into question what defines divorce. He suggests his hands are tied until the Supreme Court weighs in on that score.

And here in Mississippi the issue remains up in the air. Many readers may recall that State House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson told the Jackson Clarion Ledger in June that one option that deserves consideration is simply repealing any requirement for the state to issue marriage licenses.

With matters in such flux, legal questions are sure to be rife.

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