JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has filed a friend of the court brief in a case involving a same sex couple. The two women want the state to recognize their marriage so that they can get a divorce.
Lauren Czekala-Chatham and Dana Melancon bought a home together in DeSoto County after marrying in San Francisco in 2008. They separated in 2010 and eventually filed for a divorce in Mississippi. A DeSoto County judge ruled last year that the state constitution stopped him from granting them a legal divorce.
Czekala-Chatham is appealing that decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Justices said Monday they would hear the case; and Tuesday, approved a motion by lawyers for Governor Bryant, allowing him to file an amicus brief. Bryant, who is not a party in the suit, is opposing the appeal because state law only recognizes a traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
Czekala-Chatham and Melancon could divorce in California, but Chzekala-Chatham said Mississippi should do it because she should not be treated any different than heterosexual couples.