Mississippi county clerk resigns over religious objection to same-sex marriages

GRENADA, Miss. — Grenada County’s circuit clerk is resigning, saying that issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates her religious beliefs.

Linda Barnette
Linda Barnette Facebook

Linda Barnette submitted her resignation letter Tuesday to the Grenada County Board of Supervisors. Grenada County Chancery Clerk Johnny Haward says supervisors voted to name Michele Redditt as acting circuit clerk.

Advocates say clerks in a majority of Mississippi’s 82 counties have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, following Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Clerks in some other counties await action by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a stay on a Mississippi case.

Barnette, who served 24 years in the elected post, was scheduled to retire after a successor was elected in November. Redditt, Barnette’s office manager for 22 years, is among the candidates to succeed her.

On Monday, Dana Guffey — the clerk in Cleburne County, Ark., also resigned, citing her moral objection to same-sex marriage.

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