JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — 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.
Gov. Phil Bryant urges Attorney General Jim Hood to "vigorously" defend the law. Hood declined to comment, saying he's reviewing the suit.
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 discriminates and doesn't put child welfare first. They say gay parents face risks because both parents don't have legal status.