clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Federal judge strikes down US's only remaining same-sex adoption ban — in Mississippi

A federal judge on Thursday ruled the only remaining same-sex adoption ban in the country — in Mississippi — unconstitutional, halting enforcement of the ban.

US District Court Judge Daniel Jordan wrote in his preliminary injunction order, referring to the US Supreme Court's 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide:

[T]he majority opinion foreclosed litigation over laws interfering with the right to marry and 'rights and responsibilities intertwined with marriage.' … The majority of the United States Supreme Court dictates the law of the land, and lower courts are bound to follow it. In this case, that means that [the same-sex adoption ban] violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

Following the Supreme Court's decision in favor marriage equality, all states except Mississippi allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt children, and second-parent and stepparent laws in all states technically allow same-sex partners to adopt their partner's children, although sometimes only if the couple is married.

With Thursday's ruling, no state has an effective same-sex adoption ban. But the ruling could be appealed.

The ruling is much-welcome news for Mississippi's LGBTQ community. On the same day, the Mississippi Senate passed a religious freedom bill that explicitly allows anti-LGBTQ discrimination — although the state's nondiscrimination laws are already so bad that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is already totally legal in Mississippi.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.