US: Mississippi woman files petition to divorce wife married out of state

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A woman in the US state of Mississippi has filed a petition in the state to divorce the wife she married in San Francisco.

Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham said she hopes her divorce case will force the state to recognise out of state same-sex marriages.

The lawyer acting on behalf of Czekala-Chatham, Wesley Hisaw, said a favourable ruling would not necessarily result in same-sex weddings taking place in the state, but that marriages from out of state would be recognised.

Czekala-Chatham married Dana Ann Melencon in the state of California in 2008, but that they had lived together in Southaven Mississippi.

The divorce petition filed in Desoto County Chancery Court says that Czekala-Chatham can only file for divorce in her home state, where she lives.

The National Guard in the US states of Texas and Mississippi have refused to process benefits requests from Tuesday from same-sex couples, despite a directive from the Pentagon to do so.

Five lesbian couples in January applied for marriage licenses in Forrest County, Mississippi, knowing they would be denied.The effort was part of a national group’s campaign to gain equality for LGBT people across the southern states.

In June, the US Supreme Court struck down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. Same-sex recognition cases also have appeared in other states that ban equal marriage.