Lawsuit challenges Mississippi’s same-sex adoption ban

Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

JACKSON, Miss. — Four lesbian couples are challenging Mississippi’s ban on allowing gay couples to adopt or take children into foster care.

In a suit filed Wednesday in Jackson federal court, the four couples, backed by the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Family Equality Council, say the ban is unconstitutional after recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions legalizing gay marriage and benefits for gay couples.

Mississippi lawmakers banned adoptions by gay couples in 2000. Then-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove signed the ban but now says he regrets doing so.

The couples say the ban is a discriminatory exception to a framework putting child welfare first. They say gay parents face legal risks because both parents don’t have legal status.

Attorney General Jim Hood is declining comment. Gov Phil Bryant is travelling and couldn’t be reached.

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