By Patsy R. Brumfield / Daily Journal
TUPELO – Legal grounds cannot be found to deny same-sex couples from commitment ceremonies at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, the state commissioner said today.
Cindy Hyde-Smith, in office since January, told the Daily Journal that the law does not prevent same-sex couples from using the Jackson facility.
“The application could not be refused,” she said about a same-sex couple’s July request to use the state-owned facility. “Based on my personal and religious beliefs, I strongly object to this, but I have no alternative … but to allow the processing of this permit to move forward.”
Earlier today, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Attorney Gen. Jim Hood reportedly announced the museum’s policy change.
Hyde-Smith, in Lee County for a farm field day, said she sought Hood’s advice about the permit request for the ceremony.
She said Hood’s office could not find any legal grounds to deny the request, especially since a “commitment ceremony” is not being defined as a marriage ceremony.
Mississippi’s constitution defines marriage as only between a man aand woman.
• For more details, read Friday’s Daily Journal.