Married same-sex couples in Miss. file for recognition

Paul Foster (left) and Nathan Tipton (right). (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Paul Foster (left) and Nathan Tipton (right). (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Same-sex couples in seven Mississippi counties were allowed to file out-of-state marriage licenses Wednesday.

Two DeSoto County men who met in Memphis and got married in Minnesota became one of the first same-sex couples to file for recognition in the Magnolia State.

Paul Foster and Nathan Tipton had a destination wedding in Minnesota in June 2014.

"It's something that heterosexuals take for granted," Tipton said. "Their marriages are recognized in all 50 states."

Couples say filing the papers does not overturn Mississippi's ban on same-sex marriage, but it does provide a public record that they are living as families in the state.

"It's just something to put it in the record that gay couples actually do live and work here and are married here," Tipton said.

Campaign for Southern Equality organized the effort, and group spokesman Aaron Sarver says couples were allowed to file papers in Amite, DeSoto, Hancock, Hinds, Lafayette, Lamar, and Pearl River counties. They were not allowed to file in coastal Harrison County.

The group says 2012 Census data showed there were 3,488 same-sex households in Mississippi and 26 percent of them were raising children - the highest percentage of any state.

Same-sex couples in Mississippi can file federal taxes as a married couple, but they must file state income taxes as separate and single.

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