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Mississippi Supreme Court could soon issue ruling in same-sex divorce case

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JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi Supreme Court has not yet ruled on a same-sex divorce case.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments from each side in January.

Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham asked to be granted a divorce from her wife.

In light of Friday's U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, attorney Carey Varnado, who represents Czekala-Chatham, expects the Mississippi Supreme Court will grant his client a divorce.

"I spoke with her, of course, and she was delighted with the [U.S. Supreme Court's] decision and just glad that the courts of her home state would finally be open to her as they should've been all along," Varnado told WREG Wednesday.

Varnado said he sent the Mississippi Supreme Court a request for a judgment in her case.

He expects there will be a decision in a matter of days.

Varnado said that is because the state Attorney General's Office sent a letter to the Mississippi Supreme Court Friday, acknowledging the U.S. Supreme Court's decision.

The Mississippi Attorney General's Office argued the state's side of the case in January.

It argued the state could not grant a divorce for a marriage the state did not recognize.

Czekala-Chatham and her wife were married in California in 2008, but they lived in Desoto County.

Back in January, the state justices acknowledged the U.S. Supreme Court's case was forthcoming. They discussed how that case might provide direction for the future.

WREG reached out to the Mississippi Attorney General's Office.

They sent the following statement:

“The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has this afternoon lifted the stay of the preliminary injunction. Mississippi’s laws prohibiting same sex marriage are now officially declared unconstitutional and unenforceable by the Federal Court. This ruling makes clear that marriage licenses should be issued to same sex couples.”- Attorney General Jim Hood

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