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Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

July 1, 2015

CAMPAIGN FOR SOUTHERN EQUALITY; REBECCA BICKETT; ANDREA SANDERS; JOCELYN PRITCHETT; CARLA WEBB, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
PHIL BRYANT, in His Official Capacity as Governor of the State of Mississippi; JIM HOOD, in His Official Capacity as Mississippi Attorney General, Defendants-Appellants

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

For CAMPAIGN FOR SOUTHERN EQUALITY, Plaintiff - Appellee: Roberta Ann Kaplan, Andrew James Ehrlich, Jacob Harris Hupart, Jaren Elizabeth Janghorbani, Joshua David Kaye, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, L.L.P., New York, NY; Dale Allen Carpenter, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN; Robert Bruce McDuff, Esq., Jackson, MS; Diane Esther Walton, Esq., Walton Law Office, Asheville, NC.

For REBECCA BICKETT, ANDREA SANDERS, JOCELYN PRITCHETT, CARLA WEBB, Plaintiffs - Appellees: Roberta Ann Kaplan, Andrew James Ehrlich, Jacob Harris Hupart, Jaren Elizabeth Janghorbani, Joshua David Kaye, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, L.L.P., New York, NY; Dale Allen Carpenter, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN; Robert Bruce McDuff, Esq., Jackson, MS.

For PHIL BRYANT, in his Official Capacity as Governor of the State of Mississippi, Defendant - Appellant: Drew Landon Snyder, Office of the Governor for the State of Mississippi, Jackson, MS.

For JIM HOOD, in his Official Capacity as Mississippi Attorney General, Defendant - Appellant: Justin Lee Matheny, Esq., Paul Eldridge Barnes, Esq., Office of the Attorney General for the State of Mississippi, Jackson, MS.

For GENE ALDAY, PHILIP GUNN, WILLIAM T. ARNOLD, MARK BAKER, MANLEY BARTON, Amicus Curiae: Russell Latino, III, Esq., Ridgeland, MS.

For MARIA S. AGUIRRE, DOCTOR DOUGLAS W. ALLEN, DOCTOR ROBERT JOHN ARAUJO, DOCTOR URSULA C. BASSET, DOCTOR FRANCIS J. BECKWITH, Amicus Curiae: Gene C. Schaerr, Law Offices of Gene Schaerr, Washington, DC.

For GARY J. GATES, Amicus Curiae: Benjamin Gross Shatz, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, L.L.P., Los Angeles, CA.

Before HIGGINBOTHAM, SMITH, and GRAVES, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 626

JERRY E. SMITH, Circuit Judge

The plaintiffs are two same-sex couples and an advocacy group that works to promote the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. The couples seek to marry in Mississippi or to have their marriage in another state recognized in Mississippi. The plaintiffs sued the state defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking an injunction and a declaration that Article XIV, Section 263A of the Mississippi Constitution and Section 93-1-1(2) of the Mississippi Code violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

On November 25, 2014, the district court issued a preliminary injunction in favor of the plaintiffs. The court stayed its order for fourteen days; this court on December 4, 2014, stayed the district court's order pending appeal. The state appealed, and after full briefing, including participation by numerous amici curiae, this court heard expanded oral argument on January 9, 2015.

While this appeal was under submission, the Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556, 135 S.Ct. 2584, 192 L.Ed.2d 609, (U.S. June 26, ...


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