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For the first time, a gay couple has recorded their legal marriage license in the state of Mississippi

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For the first time, the legal marriage license of a same-sex couple has been recorded as a public record in the state of Mississippi. Anna Guillot and Chrissy Kelly, who married legally in New York in June 2012, paid $12 to have their marriage license recorded at the Rankin County Chancery Clerk’s Office in their hometown of Brandon, Mississippi.

Their status as a married couple still won’t be recognized by the state, but their decision to create a public record marks a symbolic first in a state where voters just ten years ago passed – with 86% support – a public referendum banning same-sex marriage.

“Couples like Anna and Chrissy are doing everything in their power to have their marriage recognized – including creating a public record of their marriage,” said Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE). ”Now no one can deny the reality of their marriage, their love, or their commitment. We are calling for Mississippi to treat LGBT people equally under the law.”

“We’re just like anybody else,” Anna said. “We love each other and we want to be treated the same as everyone else.”

“We want people to know they are not alone,” her wife, Chrissy added. “There are gay couples here in Rankin County.”

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The decision to record their marriage license is a part of a series of actions CSE has planned for the week in Mississippi. On Tuesday, five same-sex couples will request marriage licenses at the Hinds County Courthouse. That mirrors CSE actions last summer, when couples across Mississippi applied for marriage licenses in Poplarville, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson and Tupelo.

“We’d like to know that when one of us has an emergency, there will be no questions about the other being by her side,” said Amber Kirkendoll, a minister at the Safe Harbor United Church of Christ in Flowood, Mississippi. She and her partner, Jessica Kirkendoll, are one of the couples planning to apply for a marriage license Tuesday.

“We want to be confident that if ever one of us is unable to make decisions, no questions will arise about who else to turn to,” said Amber. “And when asked if we are married, we pray for the day there will be no awkward hesitation, but a very firm and celebratory, ‘Yes!’ to anyone who asks.”

Anna Guillot and Chrissy Kelly are the first gay couple to ever have their marriage license officially recorded by the state of Mississippi. Photo by Ashton Pittman.

Tuesday night, Beach-Ferrara will be speaking about the push for marriage equality in the South at Millsaps College at 7 pm in Room 215 of the Academic Complex. A question and answer session will follow. Responding to the talk will be Ann Phelps, the director of the Millsaps Faith and Work program, Shelli Poe, professor of religious studies at Millsaps, and CJ Rhodes, the director of student Religious Life at Alcorn State University.

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