Federal judges rule Mississippi, Arkansas gay marriage bans unconstitutional

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Arkansas and Mississippi may be one step closer to legalizing gay marriage.

Federal judges called the states’ bans unconstitutional, and people on both sides of the issue are speaking out.

Whether you are for it or against it, there’s no denying the same-sex marriage movement is gaining traction throughout most of the country.

However, in the Mid- and Deep South, plenty of people are still pushing back.

“I don’t think it’s right for two men or two women to be together,” West Memphis resident Jeff Dickerson said. “It’s not what God created us for.”

Another resident, Natalie Vega, added, “I think it should be boy and girl, not boy and boy or girl and girl. It just doesn’t look right.”

Federal judges in Mississippi and Arkansas ruled both states’ gay marriage bans are unconstitutional.

But that doesn’t mean couples can run to the courthouse and get hitched quite yet. Clerks cannot issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the Circuit Court of Appeals or Supreme Court makes the final decisions.

Vanessa Granberry is for same-sex marriage and said, “People don’t just pick who they love. You just love. So, I mean, it’s their decision.”

Some, like Dickerson, said the rulings are a step in the wrong direction.

“It would probably bring out a lot of the other gays out of the closet, and then they’d be everywhere!” he said.

But others think it’s positive change for the South.

“People have been doing this for a long time, but have been keeping it under cover,” Granberry said. “So, now people are coming out starting at our age group in the 40s and 50s and younger saying, ‘Hey. We don’t mind what we do now.’ So, people are coming out and loving who they love.”

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