Museum Allows Gay Ceremonies after Lawsuit Threat

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A state-owned museum in Mississippi has reversed its ban on same-sex ceremonies after threats of a federal lawsuit.

The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum denied the application of two women who wanted to rent the facility for their commitment ceremony scheduled this Fall.

The Southern Poverty Law Center threatened to sue the state.

The state's Democrat Attorney General Jim Hood said that under state and federal law the museum should not ban the same-sex ceremony. He said that fighting the lawsuit would place the state in serious legal jeopardy.

But the state's Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves disagreed. He noted that Mississippi voters passed an amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2004.

"I think General Hood's legal advice is wrong. Eighty-six percent voted against the ability for same sex couples to marry in Mississippi and I think this sends the wrong message," Reeves said.

Mississippi's Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has also expressed his opposition to gay marriage, saying recently that he doesn't believe same-sex couples are "couples."

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