Two Yazoo County JPs will no longer perform marriages

WJTV is reporting that two Yazoo County justice court judges will no longer perform any marriages because of their opposition to gay marriage.  WLBT reports “In the letter, judges Pam I. May and Bennie K. Warrington cite Mississippi law, which says Justice Court Judges may (not shall) perform weddings. The decision follows the US Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same sex marriage in the United States.”

There are no handdown lists this week – Bar Convention.

3 thoughts on “Two Yazoo County JPs will no longer perform marriages

  1. Please advised that a number of faith communities do support gay married and will conduct ceremonies.  Including but not limited to certain Presbyterian USA.  Each case must investigate their chosen church to confirm whether marriages will be conducted.Janice T. JacksonJACKSON LAW FIRM, PLLC232 Market Street, Ste. 216Flowood  MS  39232Mailing Address:P O Box 24044Jackson MS  39225-4044(601) 982-9797                (601) 

    • The Mississippi Supreme Court has held that marriages performed by a minister of the Universal Life Church is qualified to perform marriages. In the matter of Last Will and Testament of Colbert C. Blackwell, 531 So.2d 1193 (Miss. 1988). Anyone can sign up here.

      M.C.A. § 41-57-48, entitled “Statistical record of marriage; completion; filing; recording fee”, spells out the process for making the marriage legal.

      (1) For each marriage performed in this state, a record entitled “Statistical Record of Marriage” shall be filed with the office of vital records registration of the State Board of Health by the circuit clerk who issued the marriage license and shall be registered if it has been completed and filed in accordance with this section.

      (2) The circuit clerk who issues the marriage license shall complete the statistical record (except for the section relating to the ceremony) on a form prescribed and furnished by the State Board of Health and shall sign it. The record shall be prepared on the basis of information obtained from the parties to be married, and both the bride and the groom shall sign the record certifying that the information about themselves is correct.

      (3) The person who performs the marriage ceremony shall complete and sign the section relating to the ceremony and shall return the record to the circuit clerk who issued the license within five (5) days after the ceremony.

      (4) The circuit clerk, on or before the tenth day of each calendar month, shall forward to the State Board of Health all completed records returned to him during the preceding month.

      (5) The circuit clerk shall receive a recording fee of one dollar ($ 1.00) for each marriage record prepared and forwarded by him to the State Board of Health. This fee shall be collected from the applicants for the license together with, and in addition to, the fee for the license and shall be deposited in the county treasury. The recording fees shall be paid to the circuit clerk out of the county treasury once each six (6) months on order of the board of supervisors, upon certification by the office of vital records registration of the number of marriage records filed.

      M.C.A. § 41-57-48.

      When obtaining a license, the couple signs the “Marriage License Record” and is then given a Marriage License which is to be filled out by the officiant. At the bottom of the license is a section that is to be filled out by the officiant and returned to the circuit clerk’s office signed by the officiant. The couple is also given a statistical sheet which is to also be filled out by the officiant and returned to the circuit clerk’s office.

      So, you can have anyone you want perform your marriage as long as they get a certificate from the Universal Life Church (or, of course, some other church). Once they get the certificate, they can perform the marriage, fill out the paperwork the couple got with the license (i.e., the license and the statistical sheet) and return it to the circuit clerk’s office.

  2. When I was a teen-ager a fellow who owned a pizza and beer joint where we used to eat pizza and drink beer showed me his Universal Life Church ordination certificate. Once when I saw him in town wearing a suit I asked him what he was doing and he was either performing a marriage or funeral, much to my surprise.

    I think it’s much harder today for high school kids to go out and engage in wholesome fun like eating pizza and drinking beer, and perhaps shooting a game or two of pool, which is a loss to our society.

    Janice, there are plenty of people willing to marry gay couples. However, it’s very important to some gays to find fundamentalist Christians who truly believe homosexuality is a sin and force them to participate in the nuptials. Homosexuality was removed from the list of mental disorders some years ago, but I believe that gays who seek out and try to force these fundamentalists to participate in the nuptials are mentally ill.

    I’m not sure why we have to have the government “license” marriages. It seems to me that any two qualified people ought to be able to just fill out and sign a contract of marriage and record it at the courthouse. As for a “ceremony,” let them do what they wish, whether before a preacher, behind a haystack, or by jumping over a broom.

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