A DeSoto County woman’s two-year effort to get a divorce from her same-sex partner ended successfully with little fanfare in a Water Valley, Mississippi, courtroom last Tuesday, when Chancellor Mitchell Lundy Jr. granted Lauren Czekala-Chatham’s petition.

Czekala-Chatham said she was happy to see her divorce from former partner Dana Ann Melancon finally complete in the wake of this summer’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all states — and, by implication, clearing the way for states to recognize divorces from partners of the same gender.

Czekala-Chatham had some strong words for Mississippi afterward, however, on other issues still facing the state’s lesbian, gay and transgender community.

“My partner and I would like to be foster parents since I had around 12 foster brothers growing up,” Czekala-Chatham said by email, but added: “We’re afraid to open that door and it be another two years and more money to fight it.

“These issues should have been resolved with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling (legalizing same-sex marriage) in June. We shouldn’t have to be fighting for anything anymore. Mississippi should be ashamed they are continually forcing us to fight for rights already granted back in June.”

Those on the other side of the issue aren’t rolling over — the state is trying to get a judge to dismiss a case seeking to overturn Mississippi’s last-in-the-nation ban on adoption by gay couples. A federal judge in Mississippi’s southern district is considering requests by the plaintiffs to block the ban pending a full trial.

Bottom line: Don’t expect an end anytime soon to the state’s ongoing debate over delicate issues surrounding a controversial topic.

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