News Author: Morgan Miller

5th Circuit Lifts Stay on Mississippi Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

July 01, 2015

On Wednesday, July 1st, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay of U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruling in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant, clearing the path for same-sex marriage in Mississippi. Read the ruling.

For more on marriage equality in Mississippi, visit our Love Wins page.

Mississippi Attorney General Issues New Marriage Equality Guidance to Circuit Clerks

June 29, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Morgan Miller, ACLU of Mississippi, 769-447-6678; mmiller@aclu-ms.org 

JACKSON, Miss – Today, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood issued new guidance to Circuit Clerks in Mississippi regarding marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The following is a response from American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi Executive Director Jennifer Riley-Collins:

“We are pleased with today’s guidance to the Circuit Clerks issued by Attorney General Hood. Clerks across the state have started allowing same-sex couples to marry without waiting for further order from the courts. We hope that couples across the state will encounter no more roadblocks to equality. Circuit Clerks and all other governmental officials who have sworn an oath to follow the Constitution should move swiftly to comply with the law of the land. If there are any issues the ACLU of Mississippi remains committed to standing in defense of marriage equality across the state. 

“If any couple encounters an issue please contact our office at 601-354-3408.”

Visit our Love Wins page more information on the Supreme Court decision, FAQ's on getting married in Mississippi and our hotline. 

ACLU-MS Responds to Attorney General’s Guidance to Circuit Clerks

June 26, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Morgan Miller, ACLU of Mississippi, 769-447-6678; mmiller@aclu-ms.org 

JACKSON, Miss – The following is a statement from American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi Executive Director Jennifer Riley-Collins in response to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s guidance to Circuit Clerks about the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges:

“Everyone has a duty to follow the Constitution whether or not there is a specific injunction ordering them to do so on pain of contempt. Common sense should rule. A court order should not be needed to have the State of Mississippi follow the Constitution. 

“The Supreme Court has spoken and everyone should be complying with the Constitution. The right question isn’t about timing around lifting the stay on the injunction. The question is whether states and their officers have to comply with the Constitution now. The answer is yes. States and government officials cannot drag their heels when it comes to their constitutional obligations. 

“The ACLU of Mississippi remains prepared to ensure and defend the freedom of marriage to all. While we hope the Clerks will begin to issue the licenses soon, all necessary legal actions remain an option.”

FAQ: Getting Married in Mississippi

June 26, 2015

Before going to the courthouse it is a good idea to verify this information with your local County Clerk’s office as requirements may change! Their phone numbers are listed at the bottom of this page.

Generally, here’s what you need to know.

What to bring:

  • Both parties must be preset to apply for a license.
  • Full name and address of both people applying for a license
  •  Names and address of parents of both parties
  •   Drivers license and social security card for both parties.
  •  $21 Cash
  • For previously married applicants please bring

○     Date last marriage ended (divorce, death, etc)

○     Number of previous marriages

○     If divorced within the last 6 months bring divorce decree.

Please note:

  •  There is no waiting period. You may marry right away.
  •  There is no blood test required.
  •  If you are already legally married in another state or country then your marriage is automatically recognized by the state of Mississippi. You do not need to record any documents or apply for a Mississippi marriage license.

If you encounter any problems while applying for a marriage license please call the Mississippi ACLU at 601-354-3408. 

Mississippi County Clerk's Offices

Adams County

Natchey, MS

601.446.6326

 

Alcorn County

Corinth, MS

601.286.7740

 

Amite County

Liberty, MS

601-657-8932

 

Attala County

Kosciusko, MS

601-289-1471

 

Benton County

Ashland, MS

601.224.6310

 

Bolivar County

Cleveland, MS

601.843.2061

 

Calhoun County

Pittsboro, MS

601.412.3101

 

Carroll County

Carrollton, MS

601.237.9274

 

Chickasay County

Houston, MS

601.456.2331

 

Claiborne County

Port Gibson, MS

601.437.5841

 

Clay County

West Point, MS

601.494.3384

 

Coahoma County

Clarksdale, MS

601.624.3000

 

Copiah County

Hazlehurst, MS

601.894.1241

 

Covington County

Collins, MS

601.765.6506

 

De Soto County

Hernando, MS

601.429.1325

 

Forrest County

Hattiesburg, MS

601.582.3213

 

Franklin County

Meadville, MS

601.384.2320

 

George County

Lucedale, MS

601.947.4881

 

Greene County

Leakesville, MS

601.394.2379

 

Grenada County

Grenada, MS

601.226.1941

 

Hancock County

Bay St. Louis, MS

228.467.5265

 

Harrison County

Gulfport, MS

228.865.4167

 

Hinds County

Raymond, MS

601.968.6653

 

Holmes County

Lexington, MS

601.834.2476

 

Itawamba County

Fulton, MS

601.862.3511

 

Jackson County

Pascagoula, MS

228.769.3039

 

Jefferson Davis County

Prentiss, MS

601.792.4231

 

Jones County

Laurel, MS

601.425.2556

 

Lafayette County

Oxford, MS

601.234.4951

 

Lamar County

Purvis, MS

601-794-8504

 

Lauderdale County

Meridian, MS

601.482.9731

 

Leake County

Carthage, MS

601.298.1302

 

Lee County

Tupelo, MS

662.841.9024

 

Leflore County

Greenwood, MS

601.453.1435

 

Lincoln County

Brookhaven, MS

601.835.3435

 

Lowndes County

Columbus, MS

601.329.5900

 

Madison County

Canton, MS

601.859.4365

 

Marion County

Columbia, MS

601.736.8246

 

Marshall County

Holly Springs, MS

601.252.3434

 

Monroe County

Aberdeen, MS

601.369.8695

 

Montgomery County

Winona, MS

601-283-4161

 

Neshoba County

Philadelphia, MS

601.656.4781

 

Newton County

Decatur, MS

601.635.2368

 

Noxubee County

Macon, MS

601.726.5737

 

Oktibbeha County

Starkville, MS

601.323.1356

 

Panola County

Batesville, MS

601.563.6210

 

Pearl River County

Polarville, MS

601.795.1235

 

Pike County

Magnolia, MS

601.783.2581

 

Prentiss County

Booneville, MS

601.728.4611

 

Quitman County

Marks, MS

601.326.8003

 

Rankin County

Brandon, MS

601.825.1466

 

Scott County

Forest, MS

601.469.3601

 

Simpson County

Mendenhall, MS

601.847.2474

 

Stone County

Wiggins, MS

601.928.5246

 

Sunflower County

Indianola, MS

601.887.1252

 

Tate County

Senatobia, MS

601.562.5211

 

Tishomingo County

Iuka, MS

601.423.7037

 

Union County

New Albany, MS

601.534.1910

 

Warren County

Vicksburg, MS

601.636.3961

 

Washington County

Greenville, MS

601.378.2747

 

Winston County

Louisville, MS

601.773.3581

 

Yalobusha County

Water Valley, MS

601.473.1341

 

Yazoo County

Yazoo City, MS

601.746.1872

ACLU-MS Responds to Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling

June 26, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Morgan Miller, ACLU of Mississippi, 601-354-3408; mmiller@aclu-ms.org 

JACKSON, Miss – The following is a statement from American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi Executive Director Jennifer Riley-Collins on the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling inObergefell v. Hodges:

“Today’s historic Supreme Court ruling means same-sex couples will soon have the freedom to marry and equal respect for their marriages across America. This ruling will bring joy to families, and final nationwide victory to the decades-long freedom to marry movement. This is a momentous win for freedom, equality, inclusion, and above all, love. We can celebrate that ours is a country that keeps its promise of the pursuit of happiness, liberty, and justice for all.

“Same-sex couples and their families have waited long enough. We hope state officials move swiftly to implement the Constitution’s command. 

“Our movement must harness the momentum from the marriage conversation to the work of securing additional advances towards equality, especially nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. LGBT people in Mississippi can still be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and denied service in restaurants and shops simply for being who they are.”

ACLU-MS Responds to Action Against Senatobia Family Cheering at Graduation

June 05, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Morgan Miller, ACLU of Mississippi, 769-447-6678; mmiller@aclu-ms.org 

JACKSON, Miss – The following is a statement from American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi Legal Director Charles Irvin in response to the criminal action taken against a family cheering at Senatobia High School’s graduation ceremony:

“The First Amendment of the United States Constitution clearly prohibits the making of any law that would impede the freedom of speech. Citizens should be able to enjoy the right of free speech, especially at a congratulatory event, like a high school graduation. The action of charging the family with disturbing the peace by Senatobia Municipal School District Superintendent Jay Foster infringes upon the family’s exercise of this right. The cheering by the family does not qualify as a disturbance of the peace and should not have elicited a criminal response. Additionally, the family’s celebration was not calculated to provoke a breach of the peace, nor would it have led to a breach of the peace.

“The school’s response points to the issue of the subjective enforcement of these kinds of laws in Mississippi and across the country. The ACLU of Mississippi will stand in defense of citizens’ right to the freedom of speech and condemn an unnecessary criminal response to these kinds of actions.”

2015 Elections are coming up. Here's what you need to know

June 04, 2015

The 2015 Primary and General Elections are coming up soon and so are those registration deadlines!

Primary Elections

July 3rd - Voter Registration Deadline for Primary Elections

August 1st - In-Person Absentee Voting Deadline, 12:00pm

August 2nd - Absentee Ballot by Mail Deadline, 5:00pm

August 4th - Primary Election Day, polls open from 7am - 7pm

August 11th - Voter ID Affidavit Ballot Deadline, 5:00pm

August 22nd - Runoff In-Person Absentee Voting Deadline, 12:00pm

August 24th -Runoff Absentee Ballot by Mail Deadline, 5:00pm

August 25th - Primary Runoff Election Day, polls open from 7am - 7pm

September 1st - Voter ID Affidavit Ballot Deadline, 5:00pm

General Elections

October 3rd - Voter Registration Deadline, 12:00pm

October 31st - In-Person Absentee Voting Deadline, 12:00pm

November 2nd - Absentee Ballot by Mail Deadline, 5:00pm

November 3rd - General Election Day, polls open from 7am - 7pm

November 10th - Voter ID Affidavit Ballot Deadline, 5:00pm

November 21st - General Election Runoff In-Person Absentee Voting Deadline, 12:00pm

November 23rd - General Election Runoff Absentee Ballot by Mail Deadline, 5:00pm

November 24th - General Election Runoff Day, polls open from 7am - 7pm 


See the full calendar on the Secretary of State's website. If you have questions or concerns, call 601-354-3408 or email office@aclu-ms.org. 

For information about voting rights and voter ID, visit our Know Your Rights page

Category: Op-eds

I Know an American 'Internment' Camp When I See One

May 27, 2015

By Satsuki Ina, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento

Last summer, the Obama administration announced its plans to open new immigrant family detention centers in response to the wave of women and children fleeing violence in Central and South America and seeking asylum in the United States. The ACLU  and other advocacy groups quickly opposed the White House's policy because of the harm it would inflict on already traumatized women and children. This month,  The New York Times editorial board described family detention simply as "immoral," and the U.N. Human Rights Council called upon the U.S. to "halt the detention of immigrant families and children." In the following piece, psychotherapist Satsuki Ina, who was born in a Japanese-American prison camp during World War II, recounts her visits to two so-called family detention facilities in Texas and the psychological toll detention takes on the women and children imprisoned there. — Matthew Harwood

I was born behind barbed wire 70 years ago in the Tule Lake Segregation Center,  a maximum-security prison camp for Japanese-Americans in Northern California. My parents’ only crime was having the face of the enemy. They were never charged or convicted of a crime; yet they were forced to raise me in a prison camp when President Franklin Roosevelt signed a wartime executive order ultimately authorizing the incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent. We were deemed a danger to the “national security” and incarcerated without due process of law.

When the war ended, my family was moved to a prison camp in Crystal City, Texas, and finally, after a total of 4 years of captivity, we were released. Decades later, our government acknowledged the injustice that had been committed. I never expected to return to Texas, and I certainly never expected to see other families incarcerated just as my own family had been 73 years ago. But this past year, the U.S. government created something that compelled me to go back.

...Read more from ACLU National

A Plug-and-Play Model Policy for Police Body Cameras

May 21, 2015

By Chad Marlow, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU

Ferguson.

Staten Island.

Pasco.

North Charleston.

Baltimore.

An unarmed person of color. Dead at the hands of law enforcement. And then another. And another. And another. And another.

Seeking to stem the tide of senseless death, a national search began for an appropriate response. In short order, a growing chorus of elected officials, law enforcement, and community leaders settled on a common answer: police body cameras. Recent surveys suggest that more than one in four police agencies have already started using them.

Unfortunately, the violence, injustice, and inequity that plague our system of law enforcement will not be solved simply by affixing tiny cameras to officers' lapels. In fact, without the proper policies in place, the widespread deployment of police body cameras could do more harm than good. If body cameras are used to cast a net of roving surveillance over communities of color and low-income neighborhoods, they will cause harm. If police officers are given discretion as to when to turn on and off their cameras and key moments go uncaptured when violence erupts, they will cause harm. If video footage is captured but state laws or law enforcement policies prohibit the public from viewing it, they will cause harm. And if body camera videos are released en masse, resulting in the widespread violation of American's privacy with no public benefit — except perhaps to fans of TMZ and "COPS" style reality shows — they will cause harm.

If, however, police body cameras are deployed within the framework of a well-considered policy that strikes the proper balance between promoting transparency and protecting privacy, police body cameras might just do some good. To that end, and in response to overwhelming demand, the ACLU is releasing a model bill for use by state legislatures and local police departments to guide the development of their laws, policies, and procedures on the use of body cameras. This model bill is far more than a wish list — it is a comprehensive plug-and-play policy for those seeking to implement a sound police body camera program.

Continue reading here....

Prosecutor Tells Pregnant Woman Punched in Stomach: “Assault on a Latino by a Latino” Deserves Less Protection

May 19, 2015

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Carolyna Caicedo Manrique, Staff Attorney, ACLU of North Carolina

According to Locke Bell, the district attorney of Gaston County, North Carolina, the ethnicity of a domestic-violence survivor can disqualify that person from equal protection under the law. The Charlotte Observer reports that Bell refused to certify a domestic violence survivor’s visa application because he thinks the relevant law protecting crime victims “was never intended to protect Latinos from Latinos.”

The controversy surrounds Evelin, a domestic violence survivor who courageously called police to press charges against her abusive boyfriend. She says he punched her, kicked her, and pulled her hair. Two weeks ago, he returned to her home after being deported, accused her of seeing another man, and repeatedly kicked her. Evelin reported the crime to the police and, as is her right, applied for a U visa.

U visas are for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. Congress created the nonimmigrant, temporary U visa in 2000 — as part of legislation that included the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act. The visa, contrary to what Bell believes, makes no distinctions based on ethnicity or immigration status.

After hearing that Bell disqualified her from protection based on her ethnicity, Evelin commented: “It’s unfair. It’s unjust. He needs to remember we are all humans.” Michael Moore, president of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), agreed, telling Latin Times:  “I can’t even find the words to describe [what Bell reportedly did] . . . unprofessional is enough … despicable might be close.”  Moore suggested that if Bell were an NDAA member he’d be subject to expulsion. 

If you were expecting the federal government to denounce Bell’s policy, you’ll be disappointed....continue reading. 

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